curated by flip Project Space (Federico Del Vecchio & Ala Roushan)
Media attention swirls out of control due to the misjudgment of a cleaning lady disposing of a few artworks that were still to be installed. The loss is minimal in comparison to the scale of our exhibition, (which includes work of 59 artists, writers, and curators), the majority of which were unharmed.
What has become shocking to us, in light of this event, is the scale of media attention it has attracted and added exaggerations around this incident.
Through this entire event and the reactions that have resulted, we have realized and witnessed the fascination with the ‘Lost Object’, specifically the lost art object. Psychoanalyst and writer Darian Leader elaborates on this subject in his book Stealing The Mona Lisa, What art stops us from seeing, where he argues that our fascination with the loss of an artwork surpasses our interest in the work itself: “Most things become more interesting once we’ve lost them. We can start looking for them, and then, perhaps, realize their true value.” (Leader; 2002, 7)
And so we now begin to understand that the reason for this attention is beyond the occurrence itself. Perhaps as Leader says these lost objects are “a metaphor for human desire: a vast congregation of people searching for a tiny object that offers some unspoken, enigmatic promise.” (Leader; 2002, 5)
Fortunately we were able to reproduce some of the lost work or reincorporate another work in collaboration with the artists effected; thus the exhibition Mediating Landscape was successfully realized as scheduled.