|When most people look at an artist's work they frequently make reference to the work of another artist. They say something like "this reminds me of the work of such and such or have you seen the work of so and so, etc." I feel that people are not looking at the work but rather seeing how fast they can put a label on it.
I wonder if this is because most people experience art through reproductions in books, magazines, catalogs etc. For others with broader exposure to art this labeling also functions as a shorthand method of telegraphing what the work is like. This quick exercise reduces the possibility of a sensual experience and often misses the artist's originality. Quick labeling and dismissal is reinforced by the global media meta-language that causes people to rarely experience anything directly through the senses nor to have an opinion other than from a media source. We become mentally lazy by depending on others to figure out difficult or original concepts. We avoid taking risks and prefer to attach ourselves to what has already been validated by others. We like our mental food predigested.
This is the starting point for "Faux Conceptual Art."
To make my point I use the signature styles of known conceptual artists of the late sixties and early seventies that are immediately recognizable to the sophisticated art viewer.
This locates the work in memory. By looking at "fake" work the viewer begins to compare it with the memory of the original. Two things should then occur. The question; "if this is fake conceptual what is real?" comes up and the subsequent realization that the fake piece is also original art in today's media driven meta-language standards. A liberal infusion of humor makes the process painless.
The pieces include: Barbie meets Richard Serra; a giant price list from a Joseph Kosuth show at the Castelli gallery; a faux Daniel Buren made from blue and white lenticular lens display tape; an adaptation of the Bruce Nauman neon piece "My Name Shouted Across the Moon;" a faux Mario Merz composed of a spiral made from the Fibonnaci series of numbers written on black board with white chalk with cheap calculators glued to the corners entitled, Fibonnaci Series with Calculators; another fake Kosuth chair piece;
the restaging of the Dennis Oppenheim sunburn piece (above); a fake Lawrence Weiner word installation, a fake Richard Serra language piece; and two videos, one the remake of Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty film, the other a clown piece called Video-Affirmations. All the pieces are designed to be installed in a museum and can be adjusted to fit the particular proportions of any room.
(CLICK HERE, for a"do-it-yourself" conceptual art project) . . . EMAIL: gh(AT)nujus.net
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