Our understanding of the world is shaped by the interactions of commodities which weave a collective and globalized imaginary.
The human brain is encased within a biological environment, but also within a cultural one. Currently, the cultural sphere of our postindustrial world is dominated by the logic of capital, triumphing on flexibility and the ability to adapt and consent to new situations. In Neuroscience the malleability of the brain is called neuroplasticity. Specifically it refers to the faculty of the brain to change as a result of one’s experience. Philosopher Catherine Malabou proposes to associate the word “plasticity” with “plastique”, a material made of nitroglycerine and nitrocellulose also known as “plastic explosive” and writes: “The word plasticity thus unfolds its meaning between sculptural molding and deflagration, which is to say explosion. From this perspective, to talk about the plasticity of the brain means to see in it not only the creator and receiver of form but also an agency of disobedience to every constituted form, a refusal to submit to a model.” The difference between flexibility and plasticity lies in the fact that the last one is not endlessly stretchable but allows resistance.
État de Choses focuses especially on artifacts and products of the postindustrial information age. These objects gain a brief state of alienation—frozen for exhibition—a very common, yet useful effect to reveal different qualities and meaning beyond immediate functionality. One could think this exhibition is questioning these objects by their plasticity as well, challenging their current state by seizing the brain to make associations.