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Friday 10.31.08

« APEX: MK Guth | Main | Friday Links »


Sherrie Wolf, "Courbet's Allegory"

The Art Gym at Marylhurst presents Homage, re-enactments, copies and tributes by Sherrie Wolf, Brad Adkins, Christopher Rauschenberg and Michelle Ross. Originally conceived when Wolf presented her full scale copy of Gustave Courbet's 1855 oil painting The Painter's Studio: Allegory of Seven Years of My Artistic and Moral Life, curator Terri Hopkins decided to seek out other artists who were exploring imitation and homage: Rauschenberg's Eugène Atget project, Adkins's visual performance re-enactments, and Ross's Small Wild Things. Hopkins suggests that these artists projects are inspired less by a Levine-like desire to question authenticity, then an interest in homage, re-creation, and experimentation. The show runs through December 7.

Preview reception • 3-5pm • November 2
Marylhurst Art Gym • 17600 Pacific Highway (Hwy 43) Marylhurst, OR • 503.699.6243

Mammalian Diving Reflex, from "Accepting the Possibility That I May Ruin My Eyes

Next Monday's PMMNLS speaker is Darren O'Donnell, writer, director, social acupuncturist, designer and artistic director of Mammalian Diving Reflex. MDR claims to "smash ideas together at high speeds to see what pops out, inadvertently producing ideal entertainment for the end of the world." Here's to hoping the world doesn't end on Tuesday, but just in case, go see this lecture.

Artist lecture • 7:30pm • November 3
PSU • 1914 SW Park • Shattuck Hall Room 212

Posted by Megan Driscoll on October 31, 2008 at 10:09 | Comments (9)


I always thought of Brad's enactments as covers, the same way bands cover the great classic songs they love. I wonder if Brad would agree and whether other artists in the show believe "covering" -- in the sense exemplified by band covers -- is a legitimate description of what they're up to. It's very specific, and quite distinct from homage or re-enactment. With a cover you inhabit history by enacting the past now, making it your own. Someone please ask Brad and the others to reply here. Thanks.

Posted by: Matthew Stadler [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 31, 2008 04:27 PM

They are like covers... sometimes they work, sometimes they don't (levels of consideration and the type of work dictates the success). Arcy's interview with Acconci really gets to the heart of it in some ways when they discuss the recent deal at the Guggenheim when Marina Abromovic covered Seedbed by Acconci.

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 31, 2008 06:54 PM

I don't consider my collaborative project "small wild things" to be homage in any way, but some reports of the participants experience with the project revealed an awareness of "paying homage to" an unknown, but speculated upon original.

The idea of a cover comes more into play with my reproduction of the Hindu images that are on display in the Art Gym exhibition. I like Matthew's sense of the cover as "inhabiting history by enacting the past now". I definitely felt that way as I was re-creating the images - both the impossible inaccessibility of them i.e. the distance between me and their origins but also they attracted me as so relevant to 20th century and contemporary painting practice. That distance is bridged through my physical engagement with them whether my copies stand as compelling images or not. The issue is further complicated by the fact that I only saw reproductions of the originals, so a lot of the information I was using was interpretive. This relates to Brads engagement with "hearsay". I also think the practice of "copying" is ultimately instructive whether through the act or through the forced re-consideration of the meaning of the image in a changed context. On the other hand the act itself may either strangle or breathe new life into the original.

The system for "small wild things", essentially a visual "telephone game" was based entirely on the description of how the Hindu images were transmitted through time via practitioners of the sect and how knowledge of their meaning is ultimately uncertain. This idea is related to my engagement with non-objective painting. Translation and the adherence (or not)to convention were a couple of things I was interested in seeing played out. There is a full description of the project constraints at both venues where it appears, Art Gym and Nine Gallery.

A fascinating esssay by Jonathem Lethem with a slightly different take this subject appeared in Harpers; The Ecstasy of Influence:a plagiarism


Posted by: mcr [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 9, 2008 02:06 PM

I like thinking of the performances as inside jokes.

Posted by: Brad Adkins [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 9, 2008 08:42 PM

You could almost describe all artwork as "inside jokes." Some get it, and some don't.

Posted by: Calvin Ross Carl [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 11, 2008 11:06 AM

I guess you could, but would you want to?

Posted by: Brad Adkins [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 13, 2008 11:07 AM

No, not at all. I tend to enjoy the art world when it is a little more inclusive.

Posted by: Calvin Ross Carl [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 13, 2008 01:13 PM

Marina Abromovics Seed Bed is not just "covering", but true performance. Like an actor doing Shakespeare.

Her Seven Easy Pieces was/is a physical and psychic achievement that 99.9% percent of the population couldn't conceive of, let alone perform.

Interpreting past work is valid, but "reproducing" is stuff for students, and indicative of a poverty of ideas. Get a copier.

Posted by: Sean Casey [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 15, 2008 09:18 PM

Did you see Abramovic's "Seven Easy Pieces?"

Posted by: Brad Adkins [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 20, 2008 02:36 PM

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