Everything You’re Not Supposed to Talk About

April 1, 2008

So they let me in to the year-end show.  And I figure, ethical considerations aside, why not?  If you can’t join ’em, annoy ’em.  So I found four images of soldiers (well, one’s technically a mountee), “enlarged” them by printing them out on the school’s color laserjet printer in sections and scotch-taping them together, then photographing them to write text over them in a specific sequence.  Below are the mockups, but I’m half-convinced to just put the torn, crappy mockups in instead of better prints. 

Anyway, I tried to pack as much race/class/gender/humor/abjection/low-brow issues in this as I could, those things being, of course, stuff that “marketable” art is no longer allowed to bring up at CalArts.  (And the “you” in the final panel is “you, art world resident” not “you, soldier.”)  I also thought of making a homage to Ed Ruscha’s “nice, hot vegetables” painting by making a painting of similar size with the text “nice, hot painting.”

 Not that I’m feeling confrontational or anything.






2 Responses to “Everything You’re Not Supposed to Talk About”

  1. Will Says:

    Am I wrong in hearing Michael T. Reznor’s voice in the last one?
    It’s interesting how it seems threatening no matter who we
    assume the “you” is. Sort of a cultural sense of generalized guilt.
    (It might just be my mother, though).

    I wonder if you’ve thought about doing motivational posters?
    Kind of like this series but really clean text, border boxes and
    a “motivational” message? See more of the “de-motivational”
    posters on spikedhumor if you like the idea.

  2. Nicholas Says:

    You hit the (nine inch) nail on the head, there. For whatever reason I have this compulsion to work obscure or not-so-obscure fragments of pop music text into my work, and it’s always great when someone catches it, though not necessary.

    And I have thought about motivational posters, but just making them ironic seems too easy; maybe the thing would be to make some and replace the motivation with ambiguity, e.g. “You’re going to get what you deserve.”

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