When being a subject segues into becoming an object (or vice versa), that doubling can subvert our usual expectations of identity and sameness. Insofar as we might identify the ‘object’ of this painting (Untitled iv) as a figure (or is it some gargantuan bust?), such identification is also put under pressure by ‘the gaze’ of this object/figure, one directed away and forward into the milky distance. Is this then a ruckenfigur – a substitute self, where (unlike C.D. Friedrich’s sublime Wanderer in the Mists) this ‘object’ doubles as a subject? Informed by the breathtaking experience of sliding up and down the side of Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janiero, Brazil in a cable car, I had thought that this would be a painting which subverted/converted that mountain’s astonishing phallic thrust into a clitoral confection! Instead what appeared was this strange, monumental, densely woven, archetypal, female, subject/object looking forward into opaque light.
Whose unconscious is she? What does she open up?