birmingham-uk

Ron Terada

Ikon Gallery

The first thing that should probably be said about Ron Terada’s project comes at the end of the catalogue for his largest exhibition to date, in the acknowledgments: “It is more than obvious that my work is indebted to others.” Few artists have so consistently pursued the hypothesis that originality is merely a “modernist myth” by noting that even the dumbest, bluntest, most literal uses of words, when framed as quotation, skitter endlessly out of the author’s control. The catalogue itself makes the point brilliantly, turning the authors’ presumably original contributions as well as Terada’s own pieces into quotations by presenting them as if they were scans from other catalogues, books, and magazines. As artist Anne Low points out in her essay, Terada’s paintings, photographs, signage, and other works are based on the discrepancies and incongruities that arise when language becomes a set

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