Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Who's work is it anyway? (and who cares?)

So if you are not part of the (physical)making process,who's work is it?

Apparently there was some discussion at the Manly Gallery opening last week vis-a-vis the provinence of works designed by an artist (craftsperson,designer,designer-maker, take your pick) but fabricated by someone or something else,Whether it is a question of acknowledging the other parties involved in the process or asserting that unless the artist is at least responsible for a certain percentage of the making, I'm not sure.

It's a hoary old argument that has been going on since the Greek pot painters were elevated above the throwers.Even in the 'ART' world as late as 1966 the idea of making being outsourced was questioned.(Sorry, it's Wiki)

"While sculptor Donald Judd executed early works himself (in collaboration with his father, Roy Judd), in 1964 he began delegating fabrication to professional artisans and manufacturers based on his drawings.

The works that Judd had fabricated inhabited a space not then comfortably classifiable as either painting or sculpture and in fact he refused to call them sculpture, pointing out that they were not sculpted but made by small fabricators using industrial processes. That the categorical identity of such objects was itself in question, and that they avoided easy association with well-worn and over-familiar conventions, was a part of their value for Judd. He displayed two pieces in the seminal 1966 exhibit, "Primary Structures" at the Jewish Museum in New York where, during a panel discussion of the work, he challenged Mark di Suvero's assertion that real artists make their own art. He replied that methods should not matter as long as the results create art; a ground -breaking concept in the accepted creation process."

The fact that this argument is still around in the craft arena raises interesting questions about what we used to call the art/craft debate.


Kirk said...

And of course there's the same debate in that other craft, surfboard manufacture. If shaper X's boards are high tolerance machine shaped blanks that some kid scrapes the crust from so X can come along and spend a few minutes tidying the board before signing it and packing it off to a glasser, is he really a shaper? How different is that to a chinese pop-out? (I'd be willing to bet 90% of that shaping machine was made in China) Does it even matter? Not here anyway- there's been no bloody waves for weeks.

smartcat said...

As you said, this conversation has been going on for years. Who cares? is a good point. If you think of architecture, it's the architect not (in general) the builder we attribute a building, landscaper etc. to. I think the creativity is in the development of the idea. That's what I think today; everything is subject to change.

Kevin Murray said...

But the idea is not enough on its own. Without the skill in realising it, we are left with a conceptual gesture (turn the lights out). We don't have the same issue in the film industry, where directors are accorded equal billing with their actors. Why should we be happy with a system just because it is familiar?