In October 2013, an exhibition opened at Tate Britain named ‘Art Under Attack – Histories of British Iconoclasm‘. Given the theme of the exhibition, I thought it was essential to go and see these controversial works, to see if I could draw similarities to myself. After viewing the rooms dealing primarily with religion and politics, rooms 7, 8 and 9 dealt with aesthetic iconoclasm, the destruction or reworking of works which transforms their meaning. The description below is copied from the brochure describing room 9, ‘Aesthetics – Art Transformed’
“Across the centuries images of the human body remain a consistent target for the iconoclast. This selection of work from the last twenty-five years expands the scope of iconoclasm to include a range of exploratory and transformational practices applied by artists themselves to portraits and other types of representation of the human form. Some start with a reproduction of an artwork, while others begin with an original work that they own or have made. They then dismantle, mark, edit or reconfigure the material with different implements – including pencil, paint, fire, blades, a punch, and software – to transform images into new works with new meanings. The practices encompass acts of aggressive play, dramatic defacement, and careful cutting. Douglas Gordon, Lucy Skaer and John Stezaker remove parts of images. Jake and Dinos Chapman and Kate Davis mark over and subvert images. Michael Wilkinson unspools videotape and turns it into a sculpture. Mark Wallinger undermines the viewing of a film’s climax. All the artists respond critically to artworks or images by remaking them.”
Now, labels are things that other people give you, however the similarities in the description of these works and mine is quite striking. Paraphrasing the text above, it would not be too much of a disservice to describe my work as ‘An original work representing the human form, dismantled, reconfigured with various softwares to transform and image into a new work with a new meaning’
A terrible thing has happened. All of my photographic equipment was stolen from the boot of my car in Sardinia. Without going into too many details, everything was stolen. Everything. About £4500 in total, gone in the blink of an eye.
Trying to think about things positively and constructively, instead of wallowing in the damp cold pool of your own tears, this has presented a unique opportunity. I cannot stop working. Equipment doesn’t define an artist, their ideas do. Maybe this could be the key to unlocking another key idea that will help form a final piece.
Luckily, I have enrolled at a university with equipment to loan. This post was shot on a borrowed Canon 550d, with a 70-300 f4 lens, hand held looking in to a spherical mirror. The post was shot mostly to demonstrate that on reflection, it’s only ‘stuff’ that got taken, the important things remain within me. The secondary point of shooting this timestack is to demonstrate that the time in which my experiments take is now a lot shorter than at the start of the course. The quicker I get a visual resolution to an idea, the quicker I can reflect and build upon it.