Prior Availability 1977 West 11St. NYC
The material I appropriate is available to anyone who cares to use it. The
fact that the material has possibly been observed or unconsciously collected by
person's other than myself, in effect defines its desires and threats. It's
this 'prior availability' that verifies the fictional transformation and helps
cool down any reference to an observable reality.
To de-referentialize the material is not to take it out of context. The
great thing about an appropriation is that even though the transformation reads as fiction, everybody knows that the source of the appropriation was at some
point non-fiction, (magazine, movie, etc.), and it's these sources, or elements
of non-fiction, that gives the picture, no matter how questionable, its
Appropriation is a theoretical procedure, and like any other procedure,
interesting only to a point. (The point being that we're all pretty
intelligent, but are we smart enough to stop paying attention to how intelligent we are?)
I'm wondering if appropriation as procedure will become the supplementary
sweetheart for gallery toughs. I have a funny feeling it's the stuff of which
art/writing is made of. Personally, I think it would be far more entertaining to
continue to customize the built-in elements that appropriation provides, and
concentrate on why certain records sound better when someone on the radio
station plays them, then when we're home alone, and play the same records ourselves.
The Picture Kit 1978, West 11th St. NYC
By cropping and taking a photograph from an already existing picture, your in
a sense fragmenting the real and attempting to add on, or 'annex' it to
something more real.
Another way and perhaps another step towards this pseudo-reality, is to make
a photograph that has the effect of being sent away for. Not in the literal
sense of course, but having the spirit of having been commercialized.
This commercialization of the picture requires a sophisticated attitude or at
least the permission of letting oneself work on a pairing or fifty-fifty
partnership where something of another personality or emotion or product signs the work.
The idea is to promote a "where the fuck did you get those" kind of take.
This questioning reaction could in many respects become the point of
It's kind of early to tell, but I'm assuming it would require a spectator
with a willingness to be a sucker. And if not a sucker, at least someone who
wanted some fun and who spent a lot of times in the movies, and didn't pay any attention to the credits.