Die Gegenstände des Anton R.

Anton Rahlwes

Juli / July - 2018

Fachhochschule Potsdam


It is an exhibition catalog accompanying the fictional exhibition “The objects of Anton R.”. The exhibition deals with the relationship of the artist Anton R. to his personal objects and contextualizes it in a social and emotional way.

What is the Topic?

The topic is the relationship humans have to their objects. Successful designers create goods for large masses of people. They therefore bear great social responsibility. In order to approximate my personal interpretation to this responsibility, I find it a necessary condition to deal with myself first. How can I make sustainable choices for society if I do not understand my own choices? Our object relations permanently control us. Nevertheless, we almost never reflect it. What we like can be quickly explained, why we like something is a completely different story and it‘s anything but banal.

Why does it look like this?

It is a catalog. It is not important here that it is a physically printed catalog, it could have been a website, or a PDF. It should only be a medium for text and image. The university tells us that the work has to be done in bound form, so: There we go.

What is special?

For me personally the way I apprached the objects and the topic is special. It was hard for me to make a neutral assessment of my favorite objects. The own look biased and the step to say, I simply like the object, is always close. In order to outsmart myself as much as possible, I have created a fictive world and situation. I have been trying to create a possible future of my life. A future into which I project all my personal ambitions, no matter how transfigured, egocentric and banal they are. This process of exposing myself was the basis to look more clearly at the relationship to my objects. It was also a nice tool to imagine future visions. The work is strongly influenced by the here and now and by my biography, but also has strong fictional and sometimes predictive elements.

What is new?

The novelty of this work lies in its topicality and in the fact that a millenial takes on this topic. The millenials have been educated in the belief that the world is a perfect place. We were fine. But the irrevocable concept of capitalism is cracking. So my generation is facing a Herculean task. It has to overcome the deep-seated need to solve problems through consumption. A like is easily given but why one is liking is a highly complex decision-making process that is influenced by personal ambitions, social norms, practical needs and unconscious fears.