We look to form to succor us from chaos. Kristeva argues that the representation of formlessness is already a victory over the abject, a removal from it. The more immediate the threat of encountering the abject, the closer the aesthetic object will approximate the very thing it defends against. This is why in the modern period, art is driven to simulate its own absence—as the last recourse against capital’s radical desublimation of all objects by their transformation into coinage.
Capitalism is the Midas curse. The touch that turns the object to gold at the same time symbolically impoverishes it, flattening all objects into interchangeable currency and simultaneously depriving gold itself of symbolic distinction.
The world turned to gold is the world turned to excrement.