Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Authorship, Co-Authorship, etc.

My current tutor, Simon Granger and I met for a final tutorial (March 20th, 2012) before the Easter Break and it sounds as if the direction I am taking is an unanimous good one. Incorporating photos of Sean from his childhood will help present him as truthfully and whole-fully as possible. The photos I have accumulated through photography, are great but I felt presented Sean on only one plane. With this incorporation, I am presenting a narrative portrait of Sean, of who he really is and the many aspects of him. With this arrangement, the viewer will be able to surmise their own views and relationships to the work and to Sean, as opposed to having a particular, calculated message to be blatantly compelled on them. By doing this, there is more room for reflection on the viewers part to decide how they feel about Sean and perhaps towards other persons with challenges on the whole. It is difficult to gather a complete understanding of someone by first glance, of only one view but by viewing one's history and current personality and interests, a viewer is able to build up a much richer interpretation. 

Of course using images where I am not the author, brought up the issues concerning authorship surrounding my ideas for the Degree Show. 

Although the images are not my property, it is in my appropriation of these images, where an audience can engage with Sean. I will be the creator in assembling the most appropriate images to allow the highest level of audience interaction and reflection. I will also be creating my own work with them by editing them, their colour, cropping them to enhance the focal point, printing in particular scale and then of course through curating. The curator is really the editor or even co-author of the work, as they play important part in how the artists work is perceived by the public. 

In The Contingent Object of Contemporary Art, Martha Buskirk, speaks about Robert Gober's 1988, Three Urinals and David Hammon's 1990 Public Toilets by explaining that in both cases, the artists were involved in performing "an act of recontexturalisation, by taking a familiar object and transforming it, by changing where it is found or how it is made." (2003, p. 62) 

Of course, these works are not only appropriations of a familiar object but are re-visualisations of a former interpretation of the subject, Marcel Duchamp's famous and controversial piece, 1917, "Fountain". A piece he referred to as a Readymade, aslo known as found object or objet trouvé. Many had ideas it was referring to the Madonna or other religious form and had sexual references. Since the photograph taken by Stieglitz is the only image of the original sculpture, there are some interpretations of "Fountain" by looking not only at reproductions but this particular photograph. Tomkins notes that "it does not take much stretching of the imagination to see in the upside-down urinal's gently flowing curves the veiled head of a classic Renaissance madonna or a seated Buddha or, perhaps more to the point, one of Brâncuşi's polished erotic forms." ( Tomkins, Duchamp: A Biography, p. 186.)

I use these works as examples of an acceptable use in the system of recontexturalisation.

Three Urinals, 1988
Paula Cooper Gallery, New 
(K. Honnef, Contemporary Art, 
p. 206)

David Hammon, Public Toilets, 1990

The original Fountain by Marcel Duchamp, 1917, photographed by Alfred Stieglitz at the 291 after the 1917 Society of Independent Artists exhibit. Stieglitz used a backdrop of The Warriors by Marsden Hartley to photograph the urinal. 

No comments:

Post a Comment