The Art of Appropriation / Die Kunst der Aneignung

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. But what if reference becomes appropriation? What if artists make works wholly their own by overpainting or obliteration, or put their hand to works of others on a symbolic level by re-enactment, extrapolation, or translation to other media?

At first sight, this may seem anachronistic, as we live in times marked by an almost iconoclastic storm of media images that reduces any visual material to the same level of meaning. But precisely in light of those virtually unlimited possibilities, the appropriation of works of art and thus of a comparatively small and, what is more, highly charged segment of image production raises intriguing questions that would not pose themselves with respect to the integration of non-art material

Like a magnifying glass, this enables a concentrated view of the various aspects of appropriation, providing both eloquent and insightful comments on the field of art and its systems of reference.

In a juxtaposition of historic works of Appropriation Art, current positions, and works that have, in part, previously not been viewed from this angle, the art of appropriation is analyzed in its unique complexity.

Accompanies the exhibition Remastered – The Art of Appropriation, 26 Nov 2017- 18 Feb 2018, Kunsthalle Krems, Krems an der Donau, Austria.

German and English text.

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