PRINT March 2003

’80s AGAIN

Inez van Lamsweerde

I was very influenced by Jeffrey Deitch’s show “Post Human.” The catalogue combined works by Jeff Koons, Charles Ray, and Paul McCarthy with paparazzi photographs of pop culture’s most extreme remakes, like Michael Jackson. I remember thinking: “Yeah, this is meant to be right now. I have something to add to that story.” The exhibition didn’t happen until ’92, but it came out of a quintessentially ’80s commercial sphere, the information society, the idea of technology and all its possibilities, which seemed so science-fictional. I looked to the fitness craze, to the emergence of plastic surgery, as well as to the research being done in genetic manipulation and the fantasies it triggered. I was fascinated by the emphasis on the body and the simultaneous displacement of physicality by digital technology—and I imagined an extreme outcome. One could say that the ’80s focus on surface became the foundation for my work.

As told to Larissa Harris