Detail of artworktitled Dharma Libertas created while I was writing the text in this post.

The theory of the Mo-Om-object (2021-2022)

The theory of the Mo-Om-object is a play with the “Theory of the Non-object,” written by Brazilian poet Ferreira Gullar in 1959. While Gullar’s theory is about the history of modern art — he argues that the non-object was the destination, the end-point, of the liberation of the artwork from signification — the theory of the Mo-Om-object is the manifestation of universal knowing expressed in the materiality of life. When liberated from signification, the artwork can then exist/be perceived from the common-ground of our shared material condition. Gullar wrote that the non-object “is a transparent body (...) through which a synthesis of sensorial and mental experiences is intended to take place”. The Mo-Om-object is the body that integrates experiences (mental, sensorial, spiritual, cultural, natural...); it is not a destination, but the present time in which trans-actions exist. The Mo-Om-object is not “transparent,” because it is not an appearance, it doesn’t appear to be — it simply is — and through being, in the constant activation of the present time, the Mo-Om-object is trans. It trans-figures, trans-verses, trans-forms.

The continuing return of the a-ha moment, in which perception meets consciousness, in which making meets meaning, leads back to making and so on and so forth. The Mo-Om-object is Paulo Freire’s conscientização in material form. The Mo-Om-object is the spiral of time that was not stretched into a line by coloniality. It is not organized chronologically, but exists in the time of kairos, the opportune time, the time when action is manifested, connections happen, when luck strikes, fortune is granted, and abundance is noticed.

The Mo-Om-object is the negation of the negation in the non-object. It is what emerges from a negation, that which reverberates into something else. The Mo-Om-object is that something else, it is emergent. “Mo,” the word for “I” in Yoruba and “Om,” the word for “ultimate reality” in Hindu texts. Words, sounds, air that vibrates inside and outside of us. The material of air that bounces back, breaks through, carries forth life. The breath. The breathing that guarantees life. Mo-Om-objects are marks of the end of the enigma. They are the creative act in itself. They are portals to the continuity of creativity.

The theory of the Mo-Om-object is a form of play because it follows the perspective of a child: the child doesn’t separate play from life. The Mo-Om-object exists in the same space as that of the reality of play for the child; the ultimate reality. In this way, differently from Helio Oiticica’s Parangolé, which was an in-corporation, Mo-Om-objects are trans-corporeal. Mo-Om-objects translate, transfuse, transgress, transcend, transubstantiate. Different than the works of Lygia Clark, Mo-Om-objects are not propositions. Mo-Om-objects are post-therapy. They are not exercises of freedom, they are expressions of freedom. Freedom in itself. Mo-Om-objects don’t propose, they transpose. Like the child who plays-with, the Mo-Om-object exists-with. The theory of the Mo-Om-object is a form of play because it vanishes when care is gone, when attention ends.