PRINT April 2003

’80s AGAIN

Keith Edmier

In high school, I wanted to be a special-effects artist, so I moved to Los Angeles. But I quickly became disillusioned with the film business and decided to go to CalArts—where I also quickly became disillusioned. There was a strong conceptual thing going on there, whereas I was making installations with found objects. I started looking at art magazines, and the first thing that struck a chord was a panel discussion featuring Sherrie Levine, Peter Halley, Jeff Koons, Haim Steinbach, Ashley Bickerton, and Philip Taaffe in Flash Art, titled “From Criticism to Complicity” [1986]. What was said about appropriation and process sounded like a whole new language. It was my first encounter with postmodernism, though I didn’t know it at the time, and I started thinking very differently about making art.

As told to Meghan Dailey