The term ‘nonknowledge’ refers to Bataille’s theory concerning human processing of information. Within this theory, Bataille proposes that we intentionally disregard certain elements of information in order to absorb new material and to position it within our existing knowledge. These neglected aspects of information constitute nonknowledge. Through immersive installation and sculpture, Margaret O’Brien’s work considers how mechanisms of repetition in art disturb this process, provoking repeated resurgences of nonknowledge. O’Brien uses repetition as a visual or performative device that undermines our usual comprehension of and familiarity with an object, and challenges established meanings and contexts.


 “We want to decipher skies and paintings, go behind these starry backgrounds or these painted canvases and, like kids trying to find a gap in a fence, try to look through the cracks in the world.”

-George Bataille

Photography Renato Ghiazza

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