bory on Tue, 23 Jul 2002 23:00:50 +0200 (CEST)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

[Nettime-ro] din nou parerea lor

Prea Scumpa Lista,
va trimit don nou una bucata opinie asupra artei contemporane ce face foarte mult rost ;-), venind tot din UK shi tot din "Evening Standard". 

"Something borrowed

by Andrew Renton 

This week, Chris Ofili was named as Britain's representative at next year's Venice Biennale. He is one of our most successful painters, because his work manages to blend together several traditions at once. As I was contemplating his extraordinary new exhibition at the Victoria Miro Gallery last week, it occurred to me that it reminded me of something I had seen before. 
In the gallery, a wood-panelled shrine houses Ofili's most substantial sequence of paintings. A dozen works line two long walls, leading up to another, larger painting as a sort of altarpiece. Each features the figure of a monkey, worked in different colours, embellished in a variety of textures and fanciful ways. And they mirror each other, so they all point in one direction, even though they are laid out on opposing walls.
But they are the same monkey. And what's more, it has been lifted straight out of one of Andy Warhol's early illustrations. Rather than see this as a crisis of originality or even a breach of copyright - the laws of which are, at best, blurred in the art world - we should understand these gestures as an intelligent, useful and slightly anxious desire to anchor a new artwork to a centuries-old tradition. And it produces a great freedom for the artist to test the limits of that connection. 
A more direct version of cultural borrowing came to a head in the Eighties, when "appropriationist" art was all the rage. Often the "lift" was almost unedited. Sherrie Levine's photographic series from that time, for example, were exact duplicates of 20th century masters. 
When you see a Levine on the wall with the title After Walker Evans, there is nothing visual to distinguish it from the original. Jeff Koons was at it, and still is. 
He was even taken to court by a postcard manufacturer, who claimed Koons had transformed a pretty picture of a smiling couple and some puppies into three dimensions. 
All of this is inherited, of course, from Marcel Duchamp and his ready-mades, which posited the idea that you can take an object, however banal, and bring it into the gallery as your own work of art. 
But while copyright lawyers are having a field day with music samplers, today's visual artists are one step ahead of the game. A successful lift, one would hope, would not only create a new work which could stand independently, but would benefit the original as part of the process; perception of the source work would be permanently changed by the new work. 
It is as if the younger artist engages in a critique of the older work to make it visible anew in a contemporary climate. 
The Chapman Brothers, who are among the most contentious of the Young British Artists, have revisited Goya's Disasters of War series several times, remaking scenes in life-size and reduced-model formats, as well as producing a series of prints. If we ever thought their work relied on shock tactics, we see that it has only been learned from the master. 
Returning to Goya, which these pieces certainly forced me to do, we see that his work still has the power to shock us. If this appropriation is a kind of theft, it is extremely generous with what it offers in return. 
The West Coast American Stephen Prina has spent more than a decade "remaking" the Complete Paintings of Manet. One by one, he has produced a new version of each painting, with no image but a sepia wash across the surface. The dimensions of the piece are all that remains of the original. But this "absent" appropriation might just send you back to check out the one you thought you knew in your dusty art-history books. 
However removed from its origin, the appropriated image still has the capacity to move - witness the work of the arch-appropriator, Andy Warhol. His Last Supper series, which juxtaposes one of the iconic images of Western culture with corporate logos, is still moving, through all the distancing devices that the painting puts in the viewer's way. 
Indeed, Warhol revealed in his diaries that his inspiration might not have been Michelangelo, but a garish plastic model of the scene bought in a New York store. So Warhol's is an image citing an image citing an image. 
The video installation by last year's French representative at the Venice Biennale, Pierre Huyghe, The Third Memory, is a video remake (premake, perhaps) of the Al Pacino classic, Dog Day Afternoon. 
Huyghe's citation is neatly inverted by the fact that, in his version, the Pacino character is played by the real-life inspiration for the movie, John Wojtowicz. But he, too, seems to have seen the movie, and ends up half remembering his own story and half a version filtered through memory of Sidney Lumet's film. 
Another recent project by Huyghe involved him, together with artist Philippe Parreno, purchasing the copyright for a minor Japanese manga character, known as Ann Lee. It has been made available to other artists to develop new works and situations for it to inspire and inhabit. So far, several important artists have responded to produce new works, including Liam Gillick, Rirkrit Tiravanija and Joe Scanlan. 
Perhaps we are coming close to the computer world's notion of the image as shareware. No one really owns it, it is constantly available, sometimes useful, sometimes disposable. And sometimes, as with Ofili's monkey - and it really does belong to him now - it produces an image so fresh you could almost swear you'd never seen it before."

sau citeshte on-line la (doar daca tzin arhiva)

Nettime-ro mailing list