no object

Professor Tomasz Pobog-Malinowski promised, and delivered, ‘a rollercoaster ride through photographs depicting our civilisation’s obsession with objects, with images of objects and with our search for “objectivity”’ in his inaugural lecture last night. His 85 slides took us through ‘Objects of desire, objects of love, of hate, of consumption, of fetish, of virtu, of exercise, of political aim … ‘, a vast range encompassing a giant Swiss Army knife with (coincidentally) 85 blades, artworks by Peter Greenaway, Man Ray, Holbein and others, God and (courtesy of Blackwells) the Mother of God as inscribed on toast.

An object
An object.

In a presentation that was by turns beautiful, alarming, and dryly witty, Prof Malinowski provoked us into thinking about ‘What is real, what is fake, what is virtual?’ in a world of ‘manufactured objectivity’.