o Fig 1- Laura Keeble: I’d like to teach the world to sing (everyday objects)
o Fig 2-Banksy : Rock with marker pen (work of others)
o Fig 3-Picasso: still life with chair caning (everyday objects)
o Fig 4- Cindy Sherman: untitled #93 (everyday objects)
o Fig. 5- Andy Warhol: Marilyn diptych(work of others)
o Fig 6-Sherry Levine: after walker Evans (work of others)
Number: 1 It has a much older tradition than that going back to Duchamp and the Dadaists at least. I rather think that it is not inappropriate to think of this as part of a revival of interest in Dada and Duchamp in particular since the beginning of the 21stC as well as a continuation of the use of found objects coming out of PoMo.
Yes, this object is to an extent more similar to those of the Dadaists. It is found, but has been altered in a very artistic individual, non-reproducible way, unlike the everyday objects often associated with minimalism and the post-modernists.
Number: 3 is it important that it was a can? What difference if it had been a beer can? Is it merely chosen because it is red?
The can is important because it is deformable and therefore able to carry the evidence of the event which happened in the past into the present. The red colour is useful artistically –it symbolises fire and hell, but is less important than the Coca-Cola brand I think. This brand is one of the most recognisable symbols of youth, and corporate global power-elements important within the political message. For the same reason the Cola can carries a more powerful message than any beer can/brand could.
Comment 3: as we cannot read the text, would it have been a good idea to reproduce it here or is that not necessary?
In hindsight, it would have been good to have an image where the text is in focus and legible.
The text is very important to the artwork’s impact-it’s highly sceptical and humorous and aimed at political and artistic institutions. I tried to convey this with a few hand-written quotes from the text.
Comment 4 : A ‘joke’ would indicate a lack of seriousness, you don’t mean that so perhaps you need to find another work or words to make the point clear…wit, humour etc.
Perhaps pastiche is more appropriate than joke- but I’m not sure. I think Banksy might have been happy with the word joke, and jokes can still carry political punch.
Number: 2 How many of the allusions that we can find in his choice of materials was conscious do you think?
I think the playful and intelligent Picasso was conscious of all these allusions- ‘nothing is but what is not’ in Macbeth’s words.
Number: 3 however collage and bricolage were well established craft activities…were they questioning these distinctions?
Yes I’m sure this was the case. By 1912 the arts and crafts movement had spread across Europe and had already questioned this distinction between fine art and craft.
Number: 1 So why does Sherman not in these? she certainly doesn’t shy away from these things as you show?
Sherman’s point is to always subvert the appropriated image/idea. In this image she has taken the idea of pornography but has denied the viewer access to typical body parts, and has added the vulnerability of the object. Where she has showed graphic anatomical details (the thumbnail untitled #250) she has subverted the object in a different way- by making the face ugly, old and male…..
Number: 3 Does the Marxist see the subjects of pornography as being any more exploited than other workers? Is there any conflict between a Marxist Feminist analysis of pornography and a Radical Feminist one? What about Gay etc. pornography?
No a Marxist feminist would concentrate on the class aspect of the exploited person, whereas the radical feminist concentrates on the unequal political, psychological and social power of men over women (quora, 2016). In this respect I think Sherman’s analysis is radical feminist more than Marxist.
Number: 5 I think it is important to think of here work additionally at least, dealing with questions of identity, its construction, fluidity, plurality, the expectations of society and so on. Particularly in terms of the demands on women in these respects.
Yes I think this fits with a radical feminist view of her work.
Quora (2016) What-is-the-difference-between-a-Radical-Feminist-and-a-Marxist-Feminist [online] at https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-difference-between-a-Radical-Feminist-and-a-Marxist-Feminist [accessed 31st January 2018]
Number: 1 You need to think about the ideas behind Minimalism here
Developed in 1960’s USA, often consisting of simple shapes. Minimalism is concerned with the idea that the artwork does not allude to any reality outside of the given object. Practitioners include Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, Agnes Martin and Robert Morris. It is related to conceptual art as both are concerned with challenging traditional views of making and viewing art (Tate, 2018).
Tate (2018). Minimalism [online] at http://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/m/minimalism [accessed 31st January 2018].
Comment 2: does this matter?
Photographing someone else’s work and exhibiting it is deeply political and philosophical. Why ? – the instant reaction of a viewer is – ‘this is not art !- this person is simply stealing someone else’s work!’……so in this broader sense the image and what it highlights must be meant to be thought about. In this sense it does matter. In the narrower view- it doesn’t really matter if it’s fine art or ‘low art’; this is often decided by institutions, and is therefore to be viewed with scepticism. It’s the politics that matters.
Comment 3:would all this have worked so well if she had rephotographed other images?
The photographs are of rural poor farming families in the USA. They are the dispossessed, and we are drawn to these subjects and have some sympathy with them. This makes the subjects highly relevant to the question of artistic, and more broadly political possession and disposession.
Comment 5 : I think it also poses the question about subject matter. If something is worthy of being photographed it must be worth looking at so if something is worth looking at (such as Evans’ photograph) should it not be photographed?
Yes this is a good point. The artist is saying that looking at this photograph is very valuable for others, and this cannot be overridden by institutional ideas of copyright. This could be interpreted as strong belief in the power that rephotographing (reproducing) has to (what Walter Benjamin described as) reactivate the original.