"The creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act"
——- Marcel Duchamp
Another meal, seemingly art stained with blood, again juxtaposed a culture’s obsessive associations with food, violence, and sex. Works like this one rely on small objects, isolated from their everyday context by their museum solitude and subtle juxtapositions. Unable to live easily alongside their familiar associations, their modesty and challenge look strikingly forward to the 1960s.
This tea set reference the decorum of the bourgeoisie and are clothed in another material index of social status: fur. Yet the convergence of opulence has the opposite effect. It becomes a tawdry and overtly carnal object that obliquely refers to the vulgarities that these tokens of class are meant to mask. One sees an object sink from its usefulness to the vapid adornment of decadence. This is a confrontation with the arbitrariness of the metaphor, of the accouterment or trappings of class that when decontextualized are coarse and unruly. An ironic pastiche of gaudy refinement becomes erotically suggestive and creaturely in its taxidermy.
The object of my visual enjoyment is the implied object of my abject disgust, at the possibility of inserting a fur-lined teaspoon into my mouth, or drinking from this hirsute mug. This work has managed to infiltrate some level of frivolity that is bound to revulsion and lies just below the effable. It manages to itch some primordial level of the imagination.
The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious - the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science.
"In principle, the work of art has always been reproducible. Objects made by humans could always be copied by humans. Replicas were made by pupils in practicing for their craft, by masters in disseminating their works, and, finally, by third parties in pursuit of profit. But the technological reproduction of artworks is something new."
-Benjamin, Walter. The Work of Art in the age of Mechanical Reproduction. 1935.
Mechanical reproduction emancipates the work of art from its parasitical dependence on ritual.
Quoting artist Cornelia Parker as she discusses her work, including Cold, Dark Matter: An Exploded View from 1991:
“I resurrect things that have been killed off… My work is all about the potential of materials - even when it looks like they’ve lost all possibilities.”
Parker’s compelling transformations of familiar, everyday objects investigate the nature of matter, test physical properties and play on private and public meaning and value. Using materials that have a history loaded with association, a feather from Sigmund Freud’s pillow for example, Parker has employed numerous methods of exploration- suspending, exploding, crushing, stretching objects and even language through her titles.
For some years Cornelia Parker’s work has been concerned with formalising things beyond our control, containing the volatile and making it into something that is quiet and contemplative like the ‘eye of the storm’. She is fascinated with processes in the world that mimic cartoon ‘deaths’ – steamrollering, shooting full of holes, falling from cliffs and explosions. Through a combination of visual and verbal allusions her work triggers cultural metaphors and personal associations, which allow the viewer to witness the transformation of the most ordinary objects into something compelling and extraordinary.
Perpetual Canon (2004)
This, I find is one of my favorite works of hers. Not only disassembling the object so it’s not only used, but the fact it echos the absence of the body and of the person. The loss of potential. The light intensifies this as the cause and effect of the person. The instrument is just the “middle man” in this symbolism. I love in a number of her works she plays with light and shadow. These small instances really do have a big impact on the art work.
The brass band is part of a robustness we used to have. Related to the unions, the British Legion, the Salvation Army – an anthem that is slowly winding down. So the instruments in my piece are permanently inhaled. They’ve literally had the wind taken out of them.There’s a lot of violence in the making of these things, but a quiet aftermath. I take things that are worn out through overuse, that have become clichés, like the shed, a traditional place of rest and retreat, and I give them a more incandescent future. Explosions are very familiar from films and the news, but how many of us have seen one or even touched a piece of the debris?”
So much relevance and similarity there is to my interests, my work and Parker. It makes me realize that I can be more ambitious with the making, under no odds can anything be impossible. I knew this before but I’ve never felt as settled with my practice to try to do something on a massive scale. I believe it is now time.
My work is very ephemeral. It’s obvious process and time links to my work, perhaps it is the destructive nature. The reductive nature that I transplant into the work has mortality issues to the ideas and pieces.
All as well as the fragile nature of the pieces. They are there, yet not there and the stripping and destruction of the use of the object and the matter of the object makes the item have a stronger presence.
In addition, maybe think about the reverse. What happens when you try to repair these objects to their former self? Reversing the effect.
Hoover parts- use them to the point of destruction. Recyle, empty and over work them.
Artists and points of interest:
Amikam Toren -(because of the way I look upon things, esspecially in a tempeal sense and economy) http://nogagallery.com/Artists/amikamtoren/About.html
Robert Filliou - (interest in “unrealised moments” in my artpieces) http://artsbirthday.blogspot.co.uk/2007/12/who-was-robert-filliou.html & http://www.artnet.com/artists/robert-filliou/
Adrian Stokes - (making up for the reparation of damage) http://www.pstokes.demon.co.uk/
Ben Wilson (?) - chewing gum (waste - also looking at my bluetack images) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Wilson_(artist)
There was an artist which showed a video of his house having some work to it and with himself reading all the incoming pieces of letters in that set of time which linked into my newsaper piece