Key Concept Lecture Highlight: Appropriation

Having the key concept lectures running alongside this brief has been very helpful in informing my practice. I feel that I have benefited from all of them in different ways – however the initial lecture that we had from Chris Short on ‘appropriation’ came to be of considerable importance in the development of my work.

In the lecture, as well as looking at examples of appropriation as a tool used by artists, we discussed the wider philosophical implications of the idea of appropriation, looking particularly at postmodernism and its embrace of the plurality and diversity stirred up by a democratic, enlightened society with faith in a ‘grand narrative’ removed. In the lecture we were introduced to Jean Francois-Lyotard, a significant figure in the postmodern movement, which existed in art as an intentional movement away from the singular narrative and reduction presented by modern art.

Ideas surrounding postmodernism began to feed significantly into my work, I began to consider the influence that the rejection of grand narratives has had on society’s relationship with meaning. Initially I explored this through experimentation with abstract mark making and surrealism, but then with a concern to look at a more contemporary context – I began to consider the implications that postmodernity had on our relationship with meaning and language. Some of the points that Chris introduced, such as the meaning of a word being understood by the meaning of other words became a key point of reference particularly for my collage text and video pieces. Some key elements of postmodernism that Chris also introduced were pastiche, repetition and recycling. Repetition and recycling, particularly through the use of archived footage, has become an important area of my practice, this can be seen through the recent video works that I am making. As well as in my subject work, it is also worth noting that some of the ideas in this lecture have become so interesting to me that I am actually looking to write my dissertation on the topic of the transition from modernity to post-modernity, and how it has influenced the relationship between contemporary art and Christianity.



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