Thinking, Seeing, Taking Away:
Lidó Rico’s Strategies ofActivating Sculpture

Mieke Bal

The material of the sculptures does not express emotions, nor does it solicit them. Creating a space of affective intensity, it merely transgresses the firm boundary between object, artefact, or thing, and the people who visit, view, and ponder those things. This transgression is the effect of the material, and that makes it hysterical. The material is hysterical not only in that it makes viewers emotionally transgressive, but even in the old sense, when hysteria meant the wandering of the womb. For it transfers the quality of the surface from work to viewer, and from eye to hand or mouth. This etymology makes it not only a female disease, as it has been traditionally mobilized against women, since only women have wombs; but one of movement from a fixed position. This unmooring is the excess. It is what makes it possible, for material, to be hysterical; it turns the materiality into a character. Works like those Rico is showing here make this understandable and, indeed, sensually accessible. The agency of the material, whether or not hysterical, precludes indifference. This is what Lidó does when he compels the integration of thinking and seeing…