Some Objects of Desire, 2004

Installation, Variable dimensions

Since the sixties, Lawrence Weiner has been one of the key figures in the field of conceptual art and the redefinition of the artistic object that goes along with it. Weiner’s conceptualism has focused on language, which he sees as a neutral, objective means through which to represent physical relationships with the outside world. He manages to eliminate references to the author's subjectivity through the specific use of words, declarations and affirmations. His statements – which he describes as sculptures, and which never fail to take into account the context and the space in which they are exhibited in – have been displayed at major museums, in open spaces, in books, on postcards, posters, films, records, manhole covers, and even on sugar packets.

Some Objects of Desire, produced in 2004, is a huge 'mathematical equation' that takes up a whole war and emphasises the relationship between humans and physical objects. It is a descriptive, metaphorical work that uses an inexact, quantitative formula and expository but ambiguous language to affirm the relationship that exists between each of us and various kinds of things. As in other works, Weiner uses graphic symbols from scientific language (positive, negative, percentage, equivalent), chooses the typography and adapts the work to the wall that it is to be displayed on, circles particular words, and plays with colours, in this case blue and red. Also characteristically, he uses a clear, concise, effective language and direct terminology, taking into account the size of the letters, the proportions, the composition, the volumetric aspects of the words and the overall visual effect. Weiner generally translates his texts into the language that is spoken in the place where the work is displayed – in this case, Catalan and Spanish –, given that, as he stated in his 1969 declaration of intent, his messages favour ideas rather than their materialisation. The properties of language suit Weiner’s aspirations: it is accessible, democratic and shared by all, and it places the receiver in the central role.

Technical details

Original title:
Some Objects of Desire
Registration number:
Weiner, Lawrence
Date created:
Date acquired:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
Object type:
Language + The materials referred to
Variable dimensions
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation. Gift of Plácido Arango
© Lawrence Weiner, VEGAP, Barcelona
It has accessibility resources:

The MACBA Collection features Catalan, Spanish and international art and, although it includes works from the 1920s onwards, its primary focus is on the period between the 1960s and the present.

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