Inside the Luxembourg + Co Gallery, which sits on New York’s 595 Madison Avenue, a metronome with an eye balancing on its needle echos across abstemious surroundings, before bouncing off the anomalous objects which are set to surround it till the 2nd of December 2023, thus providing an unintentional melody to Man Ray: Other Objects and setting the scene for a deeper exploration into the sibylline creator’s consciousness.
Retrospectively, it’s an endeavour which this contemplative retrospective undertakes with a certain amount of ‘oomph’, enough to pull the interests of anyone who may be walking by on say a Thursday afternoon, thanks to the presence of everything from a flat iron punctuated by tacks on its underside (Cadeau, c.1958) to a hanging mobile crafted out of coat hangers (Obstruction, 1964) and a sculpture of Venus which has been cast in rope (Vénus restaurée, 1971). Although, what decisively makes these objects extraordinary, aside from them having come to fruition through the Dada and Surrealist movements, is the undisguised notion that they seem to venture beyond corporality and instead question our understanding of practicality. Something which certainly finds its home in the mind of their creator who once said “It has never been my object to record my dreams, just the determination to realise them.” 
Ultimately, it’s this belief that carries Man Ray: Other Objects forward, along with the five-object groups it envelops in an effort to chart the American artistic intellectual’s thought process. Whether this be through the displaying of his ‘replicas’ pieces – must-see oddities created over a period of time from numerous materials and underneath various idioms or ‘new originals’ –, which stand as tangible manifestations of an intangible mind, particularly as they were only referenced to through differing writings, conversations and photographic remnants.
A case in point, Objet indestructible (1965), which was created in response to Man Ray’s lover leaving him after a three-year relationship, took on many forms throughout its lifetime before being destroyed in a mockery of its title. The year that it was created, a drawing of a more contemporary imitation appeared in the Parisian journal This Quarter together with instructions that read “Legend, cut out the eye from a photograph of one who has been loved but is seen no more. Attach the eye to the pendulum of a metronome and regulate the weight to suit the tempo desired. Keep doing it to the limit of endurance. With a hammer well-aimed, try to destroy the whole at a single blow.”
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