FAKING IT - a revisitation of post modernism (EIT Tutors show)
Hastings Art Gallery - Sept / Oct 2008
This work is from a group show where E.I.T. Tutors were invited to revisit post modernism.
The spirit of post modernism seems to be well summed up by something the artist Dick Frizzell once said to me during an intense debate about appropriation - “Everything is up for grabs, Nothing is sacred, Never ask permission!”
- in other words use anything from anywhere, wherever you can find it, in whatever way that works if it helps wrangle your idea into life. I eventually warmed to this, realising that my assumtion that I had to ‘make everything up’ was a delusion and a conceit.
I had seen Picasso’s staggering thirty two versions of ‘Las Meninas’ in Barcelona in 1981 and on returning to NZ attempted to see how many versions of ‘Farmer’s Wife with a Jug of Milk’ I could cook up.
I ran out of steam at around thirteen.
So.... ‘Faking It’. If we are revisiting post modernism it must be over? Does that mean there are some new rules? Are we still allowed to do whatever we like? I wonder who decides....?
The idea that artists are supposed to behave and work within generally accepted and taught ideas about what is, and what is not : - art, in, over, now, relevant, and/or a raft of other exclusively restrictive historical narratives,
is a silly business which has not, and hopefully never will have anything to do with why I do what I do. I can’t think of any artist of lasting interest who gave a toss about the rules of the ‘art racket‘.
Furthermore my own aesthetic is so fucking retro that even the idea that modernism is over, is absurd. Call me old fashioned (please), but for me there are years of mileage still to be wrought from the study of the modern masters , now so out of step with what is taught as ‘contemporary art practice’. I watched my own daughter’s frustration as she studied. There was so much reasearch, theory and writing required she barely had time to
make any work.
The centre panel of these three triptychs is taken from the cover of CIRCLE: International Survey of Constructive Art by J. L., Ben Nicholson, N. Gabo (ed). (Alvar Aalto, Marcel Breuer, Walter Gropius, Le Corbusier (design) 1937.
What is good for me, is to make work as accurately as possible, about whatever seems interesting and relevant to my ever contracting and expanding line of vision with whatever I can lay my hands on, depending on the weather and the neurotic functioning of my self-seeding organic barrysphere. That will just have to do.
I must be careful not to have too much to think.
Fane Flaws - Sept 2008