Types of Appropriation in Art
Steve Lafreniere, you weren’t at Douglas Crimps” Pictures” display, but many appear to believe that you were there, perhaps the reason was the later relationship with Helene Winer, Who was in artists place before beginning Metro Pictures. Did you sense the Alliance to the artists in the ‘Pictures’ display?
Richard Prince, i have nevermore said this earlier, though Doug Crimp really asked me to be in the display. I studied his essay and described him as it was for shit, that it appeared like Toland Barthes. We have not chatted since.
To the editor:
I have no fantasies about remaining ready to dominate how the ‘pictures’ show i created at Artists Space in 1977 will be known historically, but for the event i did not, March 2003, as Richard Prince declares in ‘Richard Prince chats to Steve Lafreniere’ request him to be in the display or explicate him the article for the program. I didn’t distinguish Prince or his profession at the moment.
When i said that i was given card by Dough Crimp to be in the show ‘Picture’, this was a lie. I was actually fooling around and i made it all up. My judgement is frosted. The truth of the matter did not apply, i tried to get away with it and paint it white. I added on to the story. You can say this that i was writing under a pseudonym. I was never there, to begin with. I had never met him, was not aware of the show and did not know any of the artists in the show.
This trade is suggestive: it gives enough proof of Richard Princes’s skills as a hoaxer, happy to tackle the past itself as flexible raw material. It also shows an ongoing dispute between artists and critic-curators concerning who makes art history. Most importantly, it further enhances the reputation of ‘Pictures’ at Artists Space, New York, 1977) as the epochal exhibition that launched a now pervasive art based on the possession – habitually unapproved- of the artefacts and images of others.
The show ‘ Pictures’ Showcased works of five artists, Jack Goldstein, Sherrie Levine, Troy Brauntuch, Philip Smith and Robert Longo, this caught the Crimp’s consideration, the apportioned concern in the photographically-based mass media as a means to be invaded and re-used. ‘Pictures’ the display was the prototype of an appropriationist current that grew strongly correlated with several commercial galleries in New York. For example, Metro Pictures, which expressed key figures, such as Cindy Sherman and Richard Prince. All of them employed with media imagery in several ways. Or the Sonnabend Gallery, which foregrounded painters and sculptors such as Peter Halley, Ashley Bickerton, Jeff Koons and Meyer Vaisman, Who referenced images and objects associated with both American consumer culture and modernist art. The first attempt to provide an overview of the whole phenomenon was the exhibition named ‘ Endgame’: reference and simulation in recent painting and sculpture 1986, ICA, Boston. Which was curated by Elisabeth Sussman, the exhibition included 25 artists and multi-authored catalogue that was symptomatic of the complex, sophisticated critical writing that shadowed appropriation art.
Critics offered various historical pedigrees, most frequently referencing Dadaist innovations like the readymade and photomontage, or the engagement of the Pop Artists with the mass media. Theoretically, Walter Benjamin was pervasive. His foundation of 1920s Montage as modernist allegory seemed pertinent to the consideration of appropriation as a new type of double-voiced art. There was even more interest in his writings from the 1930s about photography destroying the aura of traditional art, as well as being an accessible, reproducible medium that emancipatory potential; al arguments that were used to characterize photographic appropriation as an inherently subversive activity. Roland Barthes was pervasive as well. Appropriation art was a practical form of the ideological critique of consumer culture that Barthes developed in Mythologies 1957. According to Benjamin Buchloh. In contrast, Craig Owens thought that Barthes later writing, such as ‘The Death of the Author’ (1968), was more relevant to a type of art that seemed to question the notion of originality and to court an active role for the viewer. Guy Debord also cropped up frequently, with critics keen to note a precedent for 1980s appropriation in his ideas from the 1950s about detournement: the hijacking of dominant words and images to create insubordinate, counter messages. Above all appropriation art was justified via the idea of Jean Baudrillard, often presented as an update of Debord. In the 1960s Debord argued that The Society of the Spectacle (Title of its most famous work, first published in Paris in 1967) could be both perceived and challenged. By the 1980s, Baudrillard commiserated, such views were mere of historic interest, for any notion of radical critique had become an impossibility with the merging of reality and its media representation. Baudrillard announced a grim world of simulation and simulacra and expressed surprise when these ideas were quickly picked up by artists and critics in New York, to become another way of discussing the art of appropriation.
Far more was a stake here than the association of the historical and theoretical origins of the new art technique. Preferably, the conjecture was the appropriation art was a key component of extirpation limited than The Anti-Aesthetic, Art After Modernism, Postmodernism – all indications of profoundly important treasuries from the mid 1980s that had as their starting position of the view that a once transgressive modernism had become completely institutionalized by the 1970s, and that a choice had to be formed instantly. Apparently, the one idea that ran within all of these anthologies was contempt for architects, artists and others who believed that the impasse of modernism provided a carte blanche for a pick and mix approach to all past styles. Such eclecticism was curtly dismissed as reactionary appropriation, associated with regressive postmodernism, that had to be explicitly distinguished from a primitive, yet innovative, postmodernism in which appropriation was required to carry out very different duties. These duties clearly emerge in the ‘Critical Lexicon’ compiled by Michael Newman for the anthology Postmodernism, published by the ICA, London, in 1985. ‘ One of the longest entries is ‘ The Death of The author’, which begins with a discussion of the appropriated art and writing of Sherrie Levine, and then goes on to consider how the ideas of Barthes, Foucault and others were ‘taken up by postmodernism to construct the critical space for works using appropriated imagery and stereotypes, largely through photography’.
‘Allegory’ is another long entry, mainly devoted to an exploration of Craig Owens’ ideas about ‘a mode of reading the already-written’ and the artists’ who generate images through the reproduction of other images’, presented as decisive breaks with a modernist emphasis on the formal or expressive artist. The section ‘Fascination and Uncanny’ include reflections on Richard Prince, especially the latter’s rephotographed advertisements that ‘have the quality of deja vu, of repetition, which renders them strange, as the cadaver brought back to life in horror story’. The entry ‘Bricolage’ investigates a term associated with the structuralist anthropologist Levi-Strauss that ‘has been used to describe the combination of fragments of the quotation from other works in a single work of art, or more especially the use of found objects and fragments of material in recent sculpture’. Simulation’; ‘ To illustrate its application to art, recall the discussion of the work Richard Prince…. ‘ And finally,’ Parody’, a form of double coding that is ‘so widespread in contemporary art that is tempting to regard it, together with appropriation, allegory and bricolage, as one of the characteristic strategies by which we might define a postmodernist art’. Significantly, the ‘Critical Lexicon’ has entries on the ‘characteristic strategies ‘ of parody, allegory or bricolage, but nothing developed to appropriation. An oversight? or confirmation that for Newman and others, appropriation was not just one strategy amongst many, but rather the very ‘language’ in which the postmodernist debate was conducted?
These opening remarks delineate what is commonly associated with the term appropriation art: a certain time (the late 1970s and 1980s): a certain place (New York): certain influential galleries (Metro Pictures, Sonnabend); and certain artist who were critically located within ambitious debates around the postmodern. The related source material is included (in the sections ‘Simulation’ and ‘Appraisals’, for example). However, the New York appropriationists do not dominate this anthology. Rather they rub shoulders with many other contemporary artists who have also been ‘practising without a license’, to use one of Richard Princes’s phrase.
The first section, Precursors, includes materials from the late nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth. The key distinction that underpins this section is between traditional and modern notion of the copy. For a painter like Ingres, copying was a vital component of an apprenticeship that was successfully completed when originality became discernible. In contrast, modernist copying is not a means to this end. It is the end. Or rather, it is the means to different ends. The readymade, collage and montage are presented as the three innovations of the historic avant-grade that cumulatively register this fundamental transition, without which any notion of contemporary appropriation art is unimaginable.
Many Breaks and continuities are to be discovered within this section. Art the everyday cliches found in Gustave Flaubert’s Dictionary of Received Ideas (1850-80) literary anticipation of artists’ work with both written and visual cliche’s or stereotypes? How does the early defence of the readymade in ‘The Richard Mutt Case’ (1917) measure up against Marcel Duchamp’s remarks on the same theme over forty years later? How does Louis Aragon’s assessment of the early history of collage relate to Raoul Hausmann’s remarks on the parallel history of photomontage, both complementing retrospective exhibitions in Paris (1930) and Berlin (1931), respectively? Is Brecht’s War Primer (1955) _ a series of four-line epigrams that he added to press photographs mainly collected in the second Worl War- the last great achievement of modernist montage? Should Debord and Wolman’s essay on detournement (1956) be appreciated as an attempt to use the weapons of early surrealism against a movement that was – they believed – a shadow of its former self by the mid-1950s? In what ways are Pop Art (here represented by an interview with Andy Warhol form 1963) or Conceptual Art (Jeff Wall’s assessment of mid-1960s Dan Graham) lynchpins connecting the appropriationism of the historic avant-grades and more recent manifestations? And is Akasegawa Genpei merely the tip of the iceberg, confirmation that a history of appropriation needs to cast a net beyond Europe and North America?
This section also invites reflections on breaks and continuities between sections, although this is assumed that the relations between historical and contemporary practices are far from straightforward. Take, for instance, The exhibition,’Montage and Modern Life’ (ICA, Boston, 1991). It was intended as an intervention in postmodernist debates in the United States, and the organizers were advised by Benjamin Buchloh, whose writings in the 1980s had identified Benjamin’s notion of Allegory as the fundamental concept that bridged interwar, modernist photomontage and contemporary, postmodern experiments with the photographic fragment. In practice, the exhibition did not attempt explicitly to develop Buchloh’s search for a usable past. No recent work was included and writings in the accompanying catalogue clearly register disagreement amongst the organizers about links between the respective arts of the interwar and contemporary periods. Matthew Teitelbaum’s preface most explicitly sees continuities in the shared attempts to represent ‘the realities of the modern. urban lifestyle, and ‘the fantasy and desire of a consumer age’. In contrast, Christopher Philips is more guarded about contemporary relevance. His cites with approval Adorno’s claim that familiarity with montage had already neutralized its shock value by the 1950s, and adds that ”montage may, in particular, no longer contribute to the most pleasant or presumptuous way to express our own ”culture of fragments”.
Contemporary practice is divided into seven categories
Types of Appropriation in Contemporary Art Practice
- The situationist Legacy
- Feminist Critique
- Post Communism
- Post Production
These categories are intended to be useful but not watertight, and readers are invited to identify overlaps between them. The timescale if from the 1970s to date; the perspective international; most documents relate to artists, though references to others like filmmakers and writers are included. Overall the aim is to convey the diversity of appropriation strategies in the last four decades. Omissions are inevitable. A case could be made, for example, for the inclusion of The Battle of Orgreave (2001), Jeremy Deller’s important re-enactment of a famous clash between striking miners and policemen that took place in Northern England in 1984, or the activities of the international performance group, founded by Marina Abramovic in 2003, and involved in re-enactment historic performances by various artists, including Abramovic herself. Re-enactment, though, is different from appropriation, with its distinctive emphasis on unauthorized possession.
The first of these typological sections refers to the term for agitation and propaganda historically associated with the dissemination of communist ideas. Communist agitprop albeit of an unorthodox nature is represented in this section by French film directors Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Pierre Gorin (known as the Dziga Vertov group) and the Cuban Santiago Alvarez. Letter to Jane (1972) is a film by Godard and Gorin in which they offer a sustained Maoist critique of an appropriated press photograph of Jane Fonda in Vietnam. The image and film script was also published but the journal Tel Quel with title ‘inquest on an image’ (1972) and an extract is reproduced here. Alvarez began making Third Worldlist documentaries in the 1960s that often involve an inventive use of appropriated material from diverse American sources, a tactic he claimed was necessitated by the blockade of Cuba. Miguel Ordea’s text reflects on the connection between Alvarez and Vertov, the Soviet documentary filmmaker who had also influenced Godard and Gorin in the early 1970s.
This section uses the term agitprop expansively to also embrace work that has no explicitly communist agenda. Two texts relate to the mass movement that emerged in the United States in the late 1960s in opposition to the war in Vietnam. The item by critique Lucy Lippard, published in 1970, comments on the problem encountered by the Art Workers Coalition, whose poster about the song-My massacre of 1968, incorporating a press photograph from Life, was banned from The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Life was also one the sources used by Martha Rosler for her famous series of photomontages Bringing the War Home begun in 1967 and initially used in the press publicity of groups campaigning against the Vietnam war. Curator Susan Stoops offers a subtle assessment of the series, written for a 2007 exhibition devoted to the work ar the Worcester Art Museum, Massachusetts. Her text is particularly useful for analysing how Rosler has reworked and extended a project begun in the late 1960s in response to the Gulf War of 1991, and the ongoing ‘ War on Terror’. The notion of agitprop also underlies the text by Brazilian Cildo Meireles (1970) who discretely inserted messages on bank notes and Coca-Cola bottles and then placed them back in circulation. The connecting thread in this section is the deployment of appropriated imagery to make explicitly political work that is intended to operate mainly outside of the usual art institutions.
The situationist Legacy
The situationist international (1957-1972) was a neo-Marxist organization committed to a revolutionary politics that is assumed to be absent in the postwar French Communist Party. The Situationist Legacy this overlaps with Agitprop, but the decision was made to have a separate section because of the pervasiveness of situationist ideas in contemporary art. The identification of a direct linkage between the situationist and the appropriation art associated with Metro Pictures, or the cut-and-paste aesthetics of punk has been extensively rehearsed elsewhere, recently in the exhibition, Panic Attack’ (London, Barbican, 2007). Therefore the focus here is on different dimensions of the legacy. The first document is ‘ The use of stolen films, 1989, a little known, late note by Guy Debord on his own films that relate directly to the co-authored article on detournement, 1956, found in Precursors. Debord is also one important topic in an interview with Belgian artist Johan Grimonprez about his film Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y, first shown at Documenta X (Kassel, 1998), organized by Catherine David. Grimonprez deals with a hijacking in two senses: firstly, his theme is the history of aeroplane hijacking (detournement d’un avion); secondly, his method is the hijacking or detournement of television news footage. Hijacking in both senses is also a theme tackled in my recent e-mail interview with the California collective Retort about the situationist dimensions of their polemical book Afflicted Powers: Capital and Spectacle in a New Age of War (2005).
The title Simulation acknowledges the influence of Jean Baudrillard in 1980s New York and this section corresponds the closest to the popular understanding of appropriation art sketched in the opening paragraphs. Some well-established examples are included: an extract from Crimp’s catalogue essay for ‘Pictures’ 1977; Baudrillard on ‘the desert of the real’ (1981): Sherrie Levine’s ‘Statement’ 1982, that re-works Barthes famous declaration about the death of the author and birth of the reader; a conversation between Prince and Halley that signals the shared concerns of artists associated with Metro pictures and Sonnabend Gallery, respectively 1984; and catalogue essays from Endgame 1986. But there are also materials that permit reconstruction of parallel activities in London, such as Michael Newman’s catalogue essay for ‘Simulacra’ 1983, a show he curated for the Riverside Studios. He included the Collagist John Stezaker who emerges in this section as a discrete but significant go-between, a London-based, ‘media haunted human’ (to use David Mellor’s phrase), who developed close contacts with the sympathetic allies in New York.
The feminist Critique section focuses on two ideas that first emerges during the 1970s: that viusal culture is onw of the principle sites where gender relations are priduced and reproduced; and that mainstream accounts of the modern aurhor or artist inevitiably foreground men of genius. Both ideas have informed a range of appropriationists strategies to unfix the fixed. Frequently, this work has involved dealing with media stereotypes, and the 1982 statement by Barbara Kruger draws attention to the danger of paroidc intent being overwhelmed by the power of the Cliche. One seemingly innocent repository of cliches is the family album, which Jo Spence began to examine critically in the mid-1970s, leading to the project Beyond the Family Album, first shown at the Hayward Gallery, London, in 1977. Reprinted here is a text from 1983 in which she calls for a radicalized ‘amateurism’ that would begin to replace ‘icon of ritualized harmony’ with images of domestic warfare.
Lisa Tickner’s catalogue essay was originally written for the international exhibition ‘difference: On Rrepresentaion and Sexuality’ (New York: New Museum of Contemporary Art, 1984). She writes about five British contributors (Mary Kelly, Victor Burgin, Yve Lomax, Ray Barrie and Marie Yates) whose ‘theft and deployment of representational codes ‘aims to foreground a ‘sexuality and/in representation’. This work often combines photographs and text and is marked by contemporary theoretical debates, particularly those associated with the British film journal Screen that drew on Althusser and Lacan, amongst others, to develop an updated theory of ideology that could account for, and challenge, the entrenchment of gender position. There are some rich overlaps between Tickner’s essay and the next document – Barbra Kruger’s interview with Anders Stephanson, published in Flash Art in 1987. Kruger identifies ‘the construction of the female subject’ as the main theme of her image-text montages and she acknowledges an interest in the journal screen. However, she insists that her distinctive ‘appellative’ tactics draw more on ten years of experience in the advertising industry that an Althusserian theory of ideology.
In contrast to many of the artists in this section, Cindy Sherman has steered clear of theory-led juxtapositions of word and image, and her reputation is primarily based on the Untitled Film Stills, black and white photographs from the late 1970s in which she disguises herself as a range of B-movie heroines. In her 1991 essay, Laura Mulvey notes that the artists’s apparent indifference to theory does not preclude her art having great theoretical significance. Mulvey suggests that Sherman’s ongoing interest in a ‘phantasmagoria of the female body’ is not only about unravelling cliches of femininity. Rather, the cumulative work draws attention to a ‘homology between the fetishized figure of bodily beauty and the fetishism of the commodity’, a homology that first began to take shape in 1950s America and is now globally established.
Another kind of staged appropriation is assessed in the concluding extract, in which art historian Deborah Cherry writes about Zabat, a project from the late 1980s by Afro-British artist Maud Sulter. This Cibachrome series depicts black women, including Sulter herself, posing as the seven muses, traditionally portrayed in western art as white women. In this context, Zabat represents a bridge between this section and the next.
The appropriation was integral to colonialism. Not surprisingly, therefore a major theme in the texts represented in the Postcolonialism section is the re-taking of that which was possessed without authority. An emblematic example is Malek Alloula’s book The Colonial Harem (1981). It contains reproductions of postcards from colonial Algeria in the early decades of the twentieth century. Depicting Algerian women in various alluring poses, veiled and unveiled, which were mass-produced to be sent to metropolitan France. Aptly, Alloula’s furious commentary is intended as an extended postcard message, to be returned to sender. The importance of return also informs the book Imaginary Homecoming (1999) finish photographer Jorma Puranen that ‘returns’ nineteenth-century portraits of the Sami found in a Parisian Museum to their Scandinavian homeland, north of the Arctic Circle. (The Sami were never colonized, it must be stressed, yet were regularly included in the primitivist discourses associated with Colonialism).
Another type of postcolonial appropriation emerges in writings by Kobena Mercer and Okwui Enwezor. Mercer’s text from 1996 deals with Keith Piper, a black British artist whose collage=-based work is marked by the ‘cross-cultural dynamics of a Creole aesthetic of migration and translation’. Similar concerns emerge in Enwezor’s Creolite and Creolization (2002), from his curator’s essay for the Documents 11 catalogue, in which the Creole experience is presented as a paradigm for a global culture based on complex mixing and hybridization. We are all appropriationists now, he proposes.
The final text in this section comes from the book The Great War of Civilization: The Conquest of the Middle East (2005) by Beirut-bases correspondent Robert Frisk. In the selected extract, Fisk describes the occupation of the American Embassy in Tehran in 1979 and recalls an atmosphere that was theatrical and carnivalesque. The occupation took this turn, he suggests, when the Muslim revolutionaries erected a large painting based on Joe Rosenthal’s famous photograph of Us marines taking Iwo Jima. The original version is associated with the defeat of Fascism by the United States in 1945; the new version depicts the defeat of the United States by radical Islam in 1979 and is a vivid reminder that the art of appropriation has no frontiers.
In 1991, East German poet and playwright Heiner Muller-introduced a conference on John Heartfield and photomontage that was one of the last events organized by the East German Academy of the Arts before it was forcibly merged with its western counterpart. Muller’s remarks had a valedictory quality that forms a background to the Postcommunism section. Since the mid-1950s, Heartfield had been a part of the cultural establishment of East Germany, mainly for his anti-Fascist photomontages of the 1930s. By East German standards, Muller was being scandalous when he expressed scepticism about the impact of Heartfield’s photomontages on the working classes and suggested that it was time to appreciate them as art. Muller’s revisionist view anticipates a major motif in recent post-communist art: a subjective appropriation of the official culture imposed by the former soviet union at home and abroad, a topic discussed here by Russian critic Boris Groys in an extra from a 2007 interview.
Another dimension of postcommunist appropriation is found in the recent exhibition ‘What is Modern Art? (Group Show)’ (Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, 2006) that brought together various projects by artists from the former Yugoslavia, including a mysterious ‘Walter Benjamin’ who foregrounds anonymity and coping in order to scrutinize critically common sense accounts of modern art and its histories.
The term Postproduction, within the media, describes the various forms of editing that convert raw footage into a finished product. Within contemporary art, the term signals the ideas of critic-curator Nicolas Bourriaud. His Postproduction: culture as screenplay: how art reprograms the world 2002 is an account of art in the 1990s that seeks to foreground new types of appropriation. The book acknowledges important precedents from the historic avant-grades and liberally references the Situationists, but argues the postproduction art is something different, closer to the various techniques of the contemporary deejay, the subject of the selected extract. This is followed by Katrina Brown’s 2004 text on an artist championed by Bourriaud, Douglas Gordon, on his influential film installation 24 Hours Psycho.
Two documents are added as counterpoints. Lucy Soutter reviews the work of Idris Khan, whose photographs involve an elaborate layering of every page in a book or every image in a photographic series. Such processes could easily be related to the playlists and cutting of deejays that interest Bourriaud, but Soutter is more drawn to affinities with the composite photographs of nineteenth-century eugenicist Francis Galton. The concluding text considers Queen and Country (2006) by Steve McQueen. He was commissioned by the Imperial War Museum in Kindon to respond to the Iraq war and made sheets of unofficial postage stamps bearing photographic portraits of British soldiers killed in the conflict. My 2007 essay views this work within the context of Bourriaud’s ideas.
Appraisals, the concluding section, presents important writings that register the ambitious, politically charged frameworks within which appropriation art was situated in the 1980s. In addition, there are more recent texts that engage critically with that legacy, either to offer revisionist histories or to identify a post-appropriation art for a different era.
Benjamin Buchloh’s 1982 essay is informed by the now famous ‘ Expressionist debate’ from the 1930s in which most of the participants assumed that German Expressionist art and literature promoted irrationalism that facilitated the establishment of the ultimate irrationalism, the Third Riech. Buchloh still shares this assumption in the 1980s and sees sinister political implications in the international popularity of so-called neo-Expressionist painters like Georg Baselitz. The referencing of Expressionism by Baselitz and others is condemned as mere pastiche, a reactionary form of postmodernism. In contrast, painters Sigmar Polke and Gerhard Richter are promoted as radical postmodernists, appropriationists inventively extending the parodistic tactics of Francis Picabia.
Douglas Crimp, too, identifies regressive and progressive postmodernisms and corresponding forms of appropriation in ‘Appropriating Appropriation’ 1982. Contemporary painters like David Salle are condemned for their pastiches of past styles, but Sherrie Levine is praised for her copying of reproduction of paintings. Photographer Robert Mapplethorpe is considered reactionary for electically imitating the styles of Edward Weston and others, whereas Levine’s’ literal copying of Weston is progressive for drawing attention to the very act of appropriation. Crimp Concludes with some acute predictions that radical appropriation art, like Prince’s, rephotographs of advertisements or Sherman’s film stills, will lose much of its use value once it becomes safely accommodated in the Art Museum.
Art after Appropriation 2001, by John Welchman, is bold attempt to revive debates around appropriation and postmodernism that were becoming jaded by the 1990s. In the selected extract, Mike Kelley is presented as major post-appropriationist, in dialogue with critical postmodernists of the 1970s and 1980s, but attempting something new with art that often involves rehabilitated craft objects. For Welchman, Kelly’s work can be usefully related to the ideas of dissident Surrealist Georges Bataille whose expansive understanding of appropriation embraced all forms of possession. Welchman continuously challenges parochialism, whether temporal or topographic and insists that the broader context for his theme is the ‘Western culture of appropriation’ that began in earnest with the Roman Empire.
Johana Burton’s title, ‘ Subject to Revision’ 2004, alludes to three dimensions of her essay. Firstly, She seeks to revise the subject of recent appropriation art, most obviously taking issue with Buchloh’s claim that Warhol and Pop art had little relevance. Secondly, she wants to draw attention to subjectivity as a theme that is a distinctive feature of the revised appropriation undertaken by current artists like Glenn Ligon, Amy Adler, Francesco Vezzoli and Kelly Walker. Finally, she shows how critics like Crimp and Owens revised their views to acknowledge subjectivity. Crimps provide her most vivid example, admitting in 1993 that his earlier dismissal of Mapplethorpe had failed to deal with the crucial gay dimension.
Isabelle Graw’s essay ‘Dedication Replacing Appropriation’ 2004 is a sceptical account of many of the radical claims also emerge in sven Luttickens’s article ‘ The Feathers of the Eagle 2005, He is particularly interested in the argument that radical appropriationists were latter-day ‘mythologists’ inspired by Roland Barthes of 1950s, and develops his own position through a comparison with an earlier ‘mythologist’ who read Barthes closely: Marcel Broodthaers.
Considered as one of the core differences between post-appropriation art today and appropriation art in the 1980s orbit around history itself. A repeated theme in postmodernists debates of the 1980s was the assumed demise of historical meaning, but vital happenings like the collapsing of the Soviet Union turned in the ‘re-appearance of a multiplicity of histories in the bit of the 1990s. The provocation for the appropriationist artist now is to find new methods of handling with these ‘unresolved histories’.