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Remastered - The Art of Appropriation

Category: Exhibition 2. January 2018

Copying as an art: „Remastered – The Art of Appropriation“ in the Kunsthalle Krems shows, besides historic examples of „appropriation art“, contemporary creations as well as works that have not yet been regarded under the aspect of appropriation.

The website of the Kunsthalle Krems states: „Without the art of others, an art of one’s own is unthinkable because art always develops in reference, conscious or unconscious, to works that already exist.“
The kind of artistic activity that is called „appropriation art“ – the fascination for the work of someone else, the act of copying, the physical or symbolic appropriation of other works of art and the results are considered artworks in their own right, with a critical potential and not as forgeries or plagiarisms. The strategies of appropriation vary widely, from quote to restaging, from tribute to parody, or even the annihilation of the original work.
The dividing walls in the columned exhibition hall have been removed and varied styles of artistic appropriation are confronted in there, resulting in intriguing interactions and interconnections.
Curated by Verena Gamper, the exhibition includes works by more than 50 artists, like Elaine Sturtevant, Louise Lawler, Richard Pettibone, Jonathan Monk or Arnulf Rainer.
In the central hall of the Kunsthalle the subject is expanded to the medium film. In the partial exhibition „Remastered: Film“ guest curator Naoko Kaltschmidt complements the issues of copy and original in visual arts with examples of feature films, experimental or animation films.
Post-modernist artists in the 1980ies declared copying as an art form in its own right.
The theoretical justification starts from the assumption that the decontextualization and reutilization of existing material generates a new context, with a meaning of its own, and a new discourse where new modes of representation are created, the viewer becoming an active agent in the process of production and reception of the artwork.
On the one hand there is the moment when an element is removed from the original context, when it receives a new existence and therefore an autonomous significance, and on the other hand there is the moment when we decide to include it in a new context, far from the original, allocating a new meaning to it.
Accordingly, the artist who assembles the appropriated material adds a surplus value of significance and validity to the original. (written by Cem Angeli)

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