the ballad of author (in)dependency

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I began within a cycle of appropriation; partially based on the problematic assumption that an artist such as Kota Ezawa - whose work is an explicit transformation of material sourced from another - would provide a less restricted ground for my own reworking. But I was motivated most by Ezawa’s translation of culturally significant photographic stock to a stylized distillation of the referent forms.  This effect was created by way of a systematized computer program that foregrounds certain structural elements while forsaking pattern, dimensionality and texture.  This exercise interested me not because of its ability to extract the essence or reinvigorate the overexposed, but because it was able to mute and distance the presence of the referent so prized in the photographic medium while maintaining likeness.

In my series I used Kota Ezawa’s flattened abstraction as a foundation to which I stitched photographic elements – (#1) from the original source image by Nan Goldin, (#2) from other images from Goldin’s oeuvre and (#3) from images taken by her contemporary Cindy Sherman – in order to put forward a traditional progression of the author’s receding relationship to the real/original/authentic. With the injection of disparate features from Goldin’s body of work, I am trying to put pressure on the author function as put forward by Foucault as bounding texts and thus classifying a mode of being of discourse. To further problematize this function I introduced Cindy Sherman’s material due to the overlapping subject matter of the beaten and battered woman/a similar foregrounded presence of the author’s body and their distinct modes of production --(Goldin’s image as documentation, while Sherman’s is presented as reconstruction).

Process/Source Material:

[Base Image]

Kota Ezawa, Photography Remix - After Nan Goldin, 2005


[Source Image for #1: 'Original']

Nan Goldin, Nan one month after being battered’ 1984


[Source Images for #2: From 'Original' Author's Oeuvre]

Nan Goldin, Heart-shaped Bruise, NYC, 1980

Nan Goldin, The Hug, NYC, 1980

Nan Goldin, Gina at Bruce's dinner party, NYC, 1991

Nan Goldin, Misty and Jimmy Paulette in a taxi, NYC, 1991


[Source Images for #3: From Other Author's Oeuvre
/ selected by author's representation of the bruised and battered woman]

Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #30, 1979

Cindy Sherman, Untitled #153, 1985

Cindy Sherman, Untitled #173, 1987

Cindy Sherman, Untitled #302, 1993/1994

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