Monday, July 5, 2010

Copy Work by Contemporary Art Gallery Vancouver Press

The Statistical Rushca essay is really good. It's about creating sequential works, referencing repeated themes or statistics - serial art essentially. It goes outside the concept of Pop Art and the obvious references to mass production to the bigger picture. There's a lot of wry commentary on how he referenced Duchamp, and Duchamp's legacy of the readymade & everyday manufactured products he nominated as works of art. It focuses on the industrial logic of impersonal serial reproduction, focusing on Ruscha's Twentysix Gasoline Stations. The concept of Census is strongly discussed and the iconography of the "imperatives of systemization". Serial displays of serial display. Now an overused concept. Rusha is referred to as "The Village Watchman" in reference to Particia Cline Cohen in A Calculating People, 1982:
The government is very keen on amassing statistics. They collect them, add them, refer to the nth power, take the cube root and prepare wonderful diagrams. But you must never forget that every one of those figures comes in the first instance from the village watchman, who just puts down what he damn pleases.
Artists are all then essentially Village Watchmen. It's an incalculable medium. Perhaps it's a humble term for a Visionary.

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