An Ear to the Ground #18

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Sloppy Problem

[Urs Fischer – Sloppy Problem, 2013]

Sloppy Problem; Real Problem

The Power Complex of Appropriation : Is Richard Prince a Thief

This is a very poignant article/interview to read, discussing the current debacle of Richard Prince stealing the work of Audrey Wollen. The power dynamic that is played out in Richard Prince‘s work usually has an appropriate outlet in the conceptualization of appropriation. Although when the power dynamic is shifted from Prince stealing the work of an unknown female artist, it’s now turning to an ever too present idea of exploitation.  I believe Wollen puts it the best and it is strikingly on point for this discussion:

I was really angry, but not at all surprised. An old, white, successful, straight male artist feeling entitled to the image of a young female body is not surprising. My photograph wasn’t included in his show at Gagosian, but by distributing it through the internet under his name without any consent, he completely erased my authorship and identity. It really was just a photograph of a naked girl, up for grabs. Maybe I’m idealistic, but I don’t think art should simply reiterate the status quo. ”   – Audrey Wollen

The other half of the article is rooted in the discussion of Sad Girl Theory, an art project and movement that Wollen coined and perpetuates throughout her work. She talks about how this theory and work shifts the power balance of objectification. Here is another ridiculously on point quote from this interview.

I perpetuate my own objectification every day. But I’m interested in the idea that objectification itself has radical potential—we can use the products of oppression as the tools to dismantle it. I wish I could just be a person, and not a walking photograph of a naked girl. But I wasn’t given a choice. I was being treated as if I was only a photograph of a naked girl long before I started taking photographs of myself naked. ”                              – Audrey Wollen

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[Audrey Wollen – Sad Girl Theory]

Another Power Post: Saskia Sassen and Potentials for New Worlds

This article is very political driven and articulate, but has a great reference to the power art holds over politics and democracy. Especially in our current climate of art and activism it is great to be enlivened by a great thinker to see the potential art has to make a difference.

Art can be very important: you can suggest other worlds, through other ways of seeing and narrating the world in which we live.”                                   – Saskia Sassen

[Jessica Stockholder – Vortex in the Play of Theater with Real Passion]

Jessica Stockholder: Powerful Art and Power

I would like to take this opportunity to bask in the greatness that is Jessica Stockholder. You’re welcome if this is the first time you have been introduced to this amazing gift to the field visual perception. Her work is something that I wish I could discover in art everyday, this sense of play and bewilderment. Overflowing with color and connections, her assemblages do a hefty amount of work on your senses. She also has plenty of writings and work to be discovered and enjoyed on her website.

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