PAINTING IN THE CONCEPTUAL FIELD
Floor Talks & Installs (Strategies for de-materializing environments - the bleeding back and forth of active models - giving and taking in tactile image saturated cultural climates) [Strategy for dematerialization of the environment - Reciprocal expansion of active models - granting and ingesting tactile images filled with cultural climate]
My practice occupies a kind of post-painting territory, which challenges the function of painting in relation to conceptual art and the way in which painting can maintain relevance to other media via language constructs and conceptual frameworks. The ‘Floor Talk’ paintings form a dialogue with conceptual art by referencing popular almost ‘obligatory’ contemporary activities like ‘Floor Talks’ and in space gallery ‘performances’ back into the painterly surface. This strategy also questions authorship as we ask, who now owns this image? The installation artist, the artist ‘Talking’ or ‘Performing’, the ‘Photographer’ who has photographed the exhibition, or the ‘Painter’ of the art object. Furthermore, the nature of our current engagement with contemporary art is in question via the internet. The photo documentation as simulated copies of first-hand interaction deconstructs authorship towards ubiquitous identities. http://Ubiquitous Authorship. net. reality, Briggs.N, WeirdHeavy Issue 01, 2012.
Not only are these works a deconstruction in terms of the form and values of (a) painting or an object, it is also a deconstruction of the authorship of (writers and artists) and structures of power (institutions, museums and galleries), which are responsible for directing theoretical ideas about aesthetics, commodity and conceptual values. Several textual references are integral to the issues present in this series.
Firstly, the critique of Installation and the exhibition form as articulated by Rosalind Krauss in her essays, The Post Medium Condition (1999) and The Expanded Field (1979). In Krauss’s text, we find her critical rational delineating the formal and spatial values that denotes ‘site’ and ‘Non-site’, ‘architecture’ and ‘Not-architecture’, ‘sculpture’ and ‘Not-sculpture’. In ‘The Expanded Field’, the artworks value is not only determined by its medium but more its conceptual relation to the context and process of the site & the exhibition. The artwork is also determined by what it is ‘Not’. In these paintings, we question, painting and ‘Not painting’, ‘Installation’ and ‘Not-Installation’. Krauss further explains that artists are no longer restricted to the laws of a specific medium (particularly painting). In effect the artwork expands beyond the limits of its medium - defined framework and enters the active territory of other mediums in the he artists physical, linguistic and social space.
In Jan Verwoert’s text ‘Why Are Conceptual Artists Painting Again?’, 2005, we find the dichotomy between medium specificity and the term ‘Position- specific’, which denotes the strategic model offered by Yves Alain Bois (Painting as Model), 1990. In this critic of painting, the artwork is not defined by its technical historicity, but by its function as a ‘conceptual gesture’. What counts is – “The Artists Conceptual Project” - how it critics its own relationship and position in a critical history of artistic acts.
In each instance, the formulation of a question raised by the work of art within a historically determined frame-work. In ‘Floor Talks’ - time, space and locality are referenced in a non-linier pattern, the selections are discursive as are the subjects and concepts with in each installation. I am aiming to place different artworks, artists and art spaces into relational points of contemporary historicity. They all share historical re-entry points into the current art time frame, through my curatorial and contextual framing. ‘Meaning is confused spatiality framed’, states Mike Kelly in his Minor Histories.
Finally, in relation to Hal Fosters take on minimalism, photography and painting in his ‘THE RETURN OF THE REAL - The Avant-Garde at the End of the Century, (1996)’, this series occupies a number of problematic territories. In thesis, painting is torn between form and content, in which a counter opposition between minimalism, photography and the persistent practices of Photo-Realist painting is established. Repetition, Reality and Seriality connect these processes however, Foster questions photography’s role in the dissolution of painting contra its insistent continuation. Like Krauss, Foster defines each form by what it is not. That painting is ‘Not’ photography and photography is ‘Not’ object, creates a dynamic negative relationship between the mediums.
Critically Incorrect? Between painting, video and sculpture, the question persists, that of the function of linguistic qualities in works, within the context of the language structure built up and surrounding the social interactions denoting the engagement of art through inter-disciplinary studio practices that cue from the highly technological and image saturated cultural climates of internet reality. Our views of installation practice and the art object come photographically packaged against the commodified institutional sheen of the white cube.
Throughout this series the installation image is referenced as a visual trope of contemporary practice, the post medium condition, and a strategic model of conceptual aesthetics. Working from the idea of the Simulacra and Simulation, the 1981 philosophical treatise by Jean Baudrillard, the installation itself becomes reduced to documentation and the photographic archive. In the current cultural climate viewing installation means engaging with a photographic language presenting reduced forms and decontextualized spaces - the copy comes from a copy which no longer has an original, apart from the time and place that the work was physically installed.
Why retrieve the image? The image was retrieved through online documentation of the work. The process of selection consists of a number of factors both logical and circumstantial. In the case of this series, there were various links to the artists’ practices, made on the basis of mutual social relations, similarities in aesthetics and concept, materiality and connected art histories. In some cases, the selection occurred more like that of Marcel Duchamp’s selection of ready-mades, like his ‘The Rendezvous’ with the object, but in this case, it is with the image. Furthermore, the series came about from the continuous perception and alteration of installation photography that has been occurring through the documentation and uploading of art on the internet. Through contemporary art culture and its application of the internet or in turn, the internet’s role in the culture of contemporary art. The language of Installation Photography, the exhibition as medium and ubiquitous authorship has found its critical dialogue in the age of access. The painting of the installation image comes back full cycle to a re-mediated original, which once again shared online becomes a series of digital copies.