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Between Mess and Order, 2015, The Point of Order, Johannesburg.

Between Mess and Order is an exhibition of Talya Lubinsky’s Masters in Fine Arts thesis. She presented a custom-made Rolodex, holding the pages of her thesis, as her full submission for her Masters in Fine Arts dissertation. 


Conventionally, a Masters in Fine Arts is completed in two parts. At the end of the degree, the student submits a written paper and makes an exhibition of their practical work. The written paper should reflect on the practical body of work, connecting it to theory while using case studies of other artists’ work to demonstrate the argument being made. 


The Faculty of Humanities requires two bound copies of the written dissertation and one digital version on CD upon submission. Two Rolodexes were submitted to Faculty as ‘bound copies’ (the pages are, after all, impermanently bound by the Rolodex). No additional, conventionally bound copy was handed in. This gesture is a pointed one. 

The Rolodex does not ‘stand in’ for an exhibition, nor is it an overly-designed binding mechanism for my written thesis, the object presents a proposition; what if the argument made by the written text and the practical work can be augmented in one form? For this iteration of the project, the Rolodex is presented as an aesthetic object, the contents of which have been exploded into space.

Just as the form of the Rolodex determined the ways in which previous works were documented or reimagined, so too does the form exhibition necessitate yet another configuration, one that takes up the medium of installation as its defining structure. 


Her research speaks to the politics of encounter, examining ways in which the forms that structure and categorise information come to inform our reception of that knowledge. Thus, the form that contains her thesis becomes another tool for demonstrating the concepts being evoked in the content thereof.

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