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Sunday, October 03, 2010

Key Principles of Integrating Theory And Practise

To understand a piece of art work we have to be able to acknowledge it's lineage. The form and content are usually very similar to an earlier concept. The only difference is that this piece is recontextualised and therefore appears to be new and original due to a slight difference, such as the medium. By transferring the mise en scene of a painting into a photograph we can recontextualise something and still provide the work with a sense of validity.  Also by taking an earlier concept and adding or replacing aspects with modern politics, history or icons we can recontextualise ideas. As this allows the relative audience to be able to relate and recognise a composition, and then they can therefore attempt to make sense of its meaning from their knowledge of contemporary events.

However without understanding where something has come from we cannot ascertain its meaning. For example the painting "Royal Family - Maids of Honour" by "Diego Velazquez" and "Pablo Picasso's" "Maids of Honour". The contemporary take of Velasquez's 17th century painting, both pieces have the same title which therefore draws attention to its lineage.
But the concept of originality is today hugely criticised, we are constantly told plagarism is illegal and wrong, we have to come up with our own ideas. However Picasso was not criticised for plagiarism, but praised for a hugely contemporary clever idea, as he was paying homage to Velasquez and therefore not stealing.

What is the difference then between plagiarism and paying homage to, is it merely accepting the fact that the concept has lineage. But if you choose to ignore that fact than surely it can be called original? Every idea is likely to have been done before, making it harder and harder for artists to be original.
'David Hurn' created a piece called 'Toys on a Fence', he had gone to a rubbish tip and found a collection of stuffed animals. Things that have been discarded, what's been left behind, traces of human existence. Artist 'Zoe Leonard' created something very similar "Mouth Open, Teeth Showing" a collection of toy dolls, some limbless all stood up positioned to look as if walking toward you like a toy army. Leonard's concept was also to show the objects we leave behind. Idea's in this day and age take much more prominence depending on the issue of the moment, (global warming/ consumerism, two very current issues) leading many artists to focus on the same thing. So could the notions of originality all be to do with 'Who had the idea first?' 

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