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Thursday 14 October 2010

Art & the Owner

In the early 20th century, Duchamp posed the question of ownership in art and yet despite all the ensuing discussions surrounding postmodernism, authorship and everything else in between, something has been lost; just because the work of art has become part of a Baudrillardian network of signs and significations, that is not to say that the potential for an autonomous or original form is a thing of the past.

Tenderpixel Gallery’s current exhibition What’s Yours Is Mine by Roisin Byrne & Duncan Wooldridge addresses this point as it focuses on questions relating to access, possession and ownership in an altered context. Depicting the shift in art practice where ideas become common property that can be invoked, adapted and absorbed, both artists are interested in seeking out what lies beyond the dominant theorizations of appropriation.

In What’s Yours is Mine, both Byrne and Wooldridge focus on the secondary sources that have become a dominant source for obtaining information about the world. This intertextual material, mediated through web-sites and search engines, as well as books and other printed matter, creates fragmented, often unreliable or contestable narratives that the reader is obliged to piece together. Through different methods and using different tools, the artists pose important questions relating to access, possession and ownership.

What’s Yours is Mine features two new commissions that bring together the artists’ interests in the historical and conceptual consequences of artistic gestures- what an artwork makes possible, whether planned or unforeseen.

For Wooldridge, the contingency of the creative act and the potential of repetition are core concerns. For Tenderpixel, Wooldridge will present a new work from his ongoing series DIY IKB in which he attempts to match Yves Klein’s infamous International Klein Blue using commercially available paint-mixing machines. Colours, for Wooldridge, become a tool for the representation of the intangible and whilst Dulux colour charts standardise, DIY IKB challenges not only our chromatic experience but explores the gesture behind the work; gestures which can be radical in their intent, and playful in their rupturing of our relationship with the photographic image.

In Goldenie Brown, Byrne presents us with a holiday snap with hidden meaning. Throughout the months of April, May and June 2010, Byrne became preoccupied with the idea of becoming a piece of work. Presenting herself to the highly acclaimed Santiago Sierra enquiring after a work of his from 2000 in which he paid 4 women to take part in one of his installation pieces; tattooing a straight line horizontally across each of their backs, Byrne travelled immediately to Spain (is Byrne sponsored by Ryanair one might ask?) and a work of art was transferred from one body to another.

Controversial, challenging and well-documented, this exhibition disrupts the relationship between audience and performer and whilst the ideas are complex, they are truly engaging, oddly moving and beautiful.

What’s Yours is Mine runs from 7-30th October 2010, Tenderpixel Gallery, 10 Cecil Court, London. For more information please visit www.tenderpixel.com.

By Bethany Rex

Rosin Byrne, Goldenie Brown
Duncan Wooldridge, DIY IKB
Images Courtesy of Tenderpixel Gallery

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