london

“Beyond the Purloined Image”

Riverside Studios

The aim of this selection of work by Ray Barrie, Judith Crowle, Karen Knorr, Yve Lomax, Olivier Richon, Mitra Tabrizian, Susan Trangmar, and Marie Yates was “to re-work and extend the notion of ‘appropriation’ . . . as used predominantly by American critics,” according to a statement in Block #9 by the show’s, curator, artist Mary Kelly. I hope I am not the only reader confused by the critical use of the term “appropriation”; important as this discourse has been for exposing the sociopolitical apparatus at work in culture’s codes of representation and the institutions of art, its emphasis on the commodity status of the art object and on the strategies of art practice has perhaps run the risk of homogenizing diverse work and impoverishing it of its potential for meaning outside this abstracted ideological framework.

“Appropriated” and “purloined” (which are not synonymous) begin to resonate,

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