Aneta Grzeszykowska, Untitled Film Stills #10, 2006, Courtesy of Raster gallery, Warsaw
Artists: Aneta Grzeszykowska, Enrico Baj, John Baldessari, Anca Benera & Arnold Estefan, Pierre Bismuth, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Mel Chin & GALA Committee, Gintaras Didžiapetris, Braco Dimitrijević, Marcel Duchamp, Simon Dybbroe Møller, Luigi Ghirri, Rodney Graham, G.R.A.M., Herbert Hinteregger, William E. Jones, Asger Jorn, Martin Kippenberger, Matthias Klos and Christian Wallner, Bertrand Lavier, Louise Lawler, Sherrie Levine, Kazimir Malevich (Pseud.), Man Ray, Jonathan Monk, Klaus Mosettig, Ciprian Mureşan, Richard Pettibone, Lisl Ponger, Nada Prlja, Arnulf Rainer, Thomas Ruff, Misha Stroj, Sturtevant, Rosemarie Trockel, Gavin Turk, Martin Wöhrl.
Curator: Verena Gamper
Without the art of others, an art of one’s own is unthinkable because art always develops in reference, conscious or unconscious, to works that already exist. But what if reference becomes appropriation? What if artists make works wholly their own by overpainting or obliteration, or put their hand to works of others on a symbolic level by reenactment, extrapolation, or translation to other media? A comprehensive group exhibition is dedicated to this art of appropriation.
The show focuses on works that are based on the symbolic or physical appropriation of other artworks. On the surface, this may appear anachronistic, as we are living today in the age of a raging storm of media images that iconoclastically brings any visual material to the same level of meaning. But precisely in light of those virtually unlimited possibilities, the appropriation of works of art and thus of a comparatively small and, what is more, highly charged segment of image production raises intriguing questions that would not pose themselves with respect to the integration of nonart material. Like a burning glass, it facilitates a concentrated contemplation of the various aspects of appropriation, providing an equally eloquent and insightful commentary on the field of art and its reference systems. In a juxtaposition of historic works of Appropriation Art, current positions, and works that have, in part, previously not been viewed from this angle, the art of appropriation is analyzed in its unique complexity. There is consciously no interpretive categorization of appropriation strategies in terms of homage or persiflage as this would confine the potential associative range of each individual work. What is in the foreground instead is the element of choice—and with it, the idea of being affected by a given work of art— that informs any specific act of appropriation.