From DADA to TA-DA!

Tschabalala Self
Painting as Companion, 2017
Instant photography
11 x 18

Tschabalala Self
Painting as Companion, 2017
Instant photography
11 x 18
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Painting as Companion –
This instant-photography series explores the relationship between Man and work. A painting is a life-partner, a familiar and consistent impression. Painting as Companion, explores the concept of a never-made within an interpersonal dynamic; one is which a work of art is endowed with human affect and elevated to the most coveted quotidian object, a lover.

​100 years ago, Duchamp debuted his iconoclastic Readymade, Fountain, challenging the art world’s pious definition of high art, and effectively paving the way for conceptual art. Conversely, his idea of a “Reciprocal Readymade: Turn a Rembrandt into an ironing board”, was never realized and existed only as a theoretical concept.

But can art be recycled? Is contemporary art a first-world indulgence? Is anything really void of symbolism? In 2017, the urgency to draw a line in the sand between form and function seems less dire, but also more complicated. For this exhibition, a group of artists and thinkers have been challenged to determine if a Reciprocal Readymade or “Nevermade” can be realized, and explore what further complications this exercise could elicit. As we careen towards hyperreality, with artwork becoming more immaterial and artist’s embracing new technologies, will the difference between artwork and utility— like reality and simulation — become equally indistinguishable?

NEVERMADE: (neh’fer-maid) n. It: No Gracie fare! Fr. Jamais réalisé 1. To repurpose or recycle an existing artwork (object, concept, ornament, decoration) as a unique consumer product – one that performs a particular operative function or purpose, void of any symbolism, resisting interpretation, and abandoning any former inherent significance or greater meaning. 2. The act of extracting meaning and designating utility. 3. The result of revoking/ demoting/ upgrading/ cartwheeling the status of an existing artwork, and reincarnating in the form of an object/product/tool with use value. 4. A conceptual exercise in language and appropriation meant to explore the concept of art as commodity. 5. Converting SIGN into THING.

Synonym: Reciprocal Readymade
Antonym: Readymade – a functional, household item rendered useless in the context of an “artwork”.
Examples: 1. “This exhibition of Nevermades is literally full of one liners.” 2. “Thanks to my brand new Nevermade, never again will I have to tolerate that useless Cady Noland sculpture that just stares back at me disapprovingly.”
Curated by Max Wolf ​

 

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