All that was solid

For the October edition of Spike x Liste Expedition Monthly Picks, Arnon Ben-Dror, an art critic and curator based in Tel Aviv, traces the de-solidification of contemporary sculpture in Hannah Sophie Dunkelberg’s recent works. 

“All that is solid melts into air.” Why do these words from the Communist Manifesto still give me the chills? Perhaps it is their uncanny prophetic quality, envisaging the dissolution of reliable systems of living long before our post-Fordist age. Or perhaps it is their poetic nature, so unlike Marx’s or Engels’s usual technical terminology. Or could it be the intriguing aesthetic – tactile almost – sensibility with which the German philosophers perceived the new reality we are facing? The age of capitalism, they presciently understood, brings about not only a new rationality but also a new sensorium – one lacking tangibility, stability, solidity. Today, in our “liquid” society, this prophecy seems more palpable than ever. De-solidification pervades almost all aspects of life, from relationships to identities to working conditions.

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