Dismantled Readymades

My proposal now is to create an installation piece, making use of disassembled pieces of handbag. The idea I have at the moment is to explore how I can hang the pieces together to create assemblages of pieces of separated handbag, like I have previously been exploring through drawing and on a smaller scale on paper/board. But now to develop a piece that doesn’t just sit on a wall but occupies a space – I feel that this way it will create more of a sense of presence and will confront the viewer as a set of  suspended 3D objects.

I have been exploring artists who work in this way.

Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp, 'Fountain' 1917, replica 1964

“The theory behind the readymade was explained in an article, anonymous but almost certainly by Duchamp himself, in the May 1917 issue of the avant-gardemagazine The Blind Man run by Duchamp and two friends:

Whether Mr Mutt with his own hands made the fountain or not has no importance. He CHOSE it. He took an ordinary article of life, and placed it so that its useful significance disappeared under the new title and point of view – created a new thought for that object.

There are three important points here: first, that the choice of object is itself a creative act. Secondly, that by cancelling the ‘useful’ function of an object it becomes art. Thirdly, that the presentation and addition of a title to the object have given it ‘a new thought’, a new meaning. Duchamp’s readymades also asserted the principle that what is art is defined by the artist.”taken from the Tate website, in reference to Duchamp’s readymades.

Cornelia Parker 

Cornelia Parker ‘Thirty Pieces of Silver’, 1988–9 © Cornelia ParkerCornelia Parker ‘Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View’, 1991 © Cornelia Parker

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I briefly looked at Cornelia Parker’s work before – but want to explore her work again as I feel it has become really relevant to the work that I am now looking into doing. Her work is characterized by her dynamic use of objects, objects that are displayed in an explosive and confrontational way and yet still exist quite absently. It explores the fragile nature of materiality and existence, and prompts us to question the substance of things. Her work has been quite an influence in the way I am considering setting out the installation pieces I hope to do – and I wish to reflect the sort of ‘absent presence’ that Parker captures, the sense of an object but an object that does not exist in its fullness. Its main core removed and becoming a series of parts.


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