Enduring ornament

  • This is an essay about rust. Iron usually plays the part of strength, stubbornness, and impenetrability, but rust registers the dimension of time in the material, reminding us that it always carries the potential for its own decomposition. While great expense is incurred to stave off iron's oxidization, we read the uselessness that rust precipitates as an interruption of the instrumental logics that sustain racial capitalism. Looking to the rusted ring that became Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven's "Enduring Ornament" (1913), we consider how the discarded and defunctionalized lend themselves to ornamental redeployment. The essay then turns to works by the contemporary American artists David Hammons and Andrea Fraser, both of which transform Richard Serra's rusty steel sculptures into a backdrop for fleeting gestures of impromptu reclamation. Attending to questions of susceptibility and monumental weathering, these reflections look to rusty leakages that play out the impossibility of refusing the environment. Rust, we suggest, is a material archive of exposure that does not keep itself, but flakes apart and seeps away.

Download full text files

Export metadata

Additional Services

Share in Twitter Search Google Scholar
Author:Amelia Groom, M. Ty
Parent Title (English):Weathering : Ecologies of Exposure / Herausgeber: Christoph F. E. Holzhey, Arnd Wedemeyer ; Cultural Inquiry ; 17
Publisher:ICI Berlin Press
Place of publication:Berlin
Document Type:Part of a Book
Date of Publication (online):2020/10/30
Year of first Publication:2020
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2020/11/23
Tag:Disuse; Gentrification; Institutional critique; Iron; Minimalism; Piss; Red; Rust; Stench; Susceptibility
GND Keyword:Eisen; Rost; Kunst; Serra, Richard; Hammons, David; Fraser, Andrea
Page Number:21
First Page:122
Last Page:141
Except for images or otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Dewey Decimal Classification:7 Künste und Unterhaltung / 70 Künste / 700 Künste; Bildende und angewandte Kunst
8 Literatur / 80 Literatur, Rhetorik, Literaturwissenschaft / 800 Literatur und Rhetorik
Sammlungen:CompaRe | Allgemeine und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft
CompaRe | Allgemeine und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft / ICI Berlin
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung-Weitergabe unter gleichen Bedingungen