“In the hyperreality of pure simulacra, then, there is no more imitation, duplication, or parody.” – Jean Baudrillard
Understanding the assignment question and brainstorming ideas and keywords:
remark: with support Inspiration® template
Online images of Allan McCollum ‘Plaster Surrogates’:
available from :
- ‘Collection Of Forty Plaster Surrogates‘, 1982
- ‘Collection of Two Hundred Plaster Surrogates‘, 1982/1983-85
- ‘Plaster Surrogates‘, 1982/84. Installation: Cash/Newhouse Gallery, 1984
Keywords for research and reading:
- Artists: Allan McCollum, Kasimir Malevich, Alexandr Rodchenko, Barnett Newman, Ad Reinhardt, Robert Rauschenberg, Yves Klein, Robert Ryman, Agnes Martin
- Surrogates and Originality
- Monochrome and modernist painting / sculpture
- Minimal Art / minimalistic painting / sculpture
- Content and subject matter in modernistic art
- Iconology of pictures
- Serial production / repetition
- Conceptual Art
Reading list plan for assignment 2:
- Thierry de Duve ‘Monochrome and the blank canvas’, 1990
- Michael Fried Essays ‘Art and Objecthood’, 1967 and possibly essays from Journal of Visual Culture issue April 2017, and ‘Art in Theory’ VIIA ‘Objecthood and Reductivism’ (Yves Klein, Ad Reinhardt)
- Clément Greenberg essays ‘Modernist Painting’, 1960 and ‘After Abstract Expressionism’, 1962
- ‘Art in Theory’ VA ‘The American Avant-Garde’ (Barnett Newman, Clément Greenberg)
- Understanding art history of ‘monochrome’ painting: Matthew Collings ‘This is Modern Art’ (Chapter 4 ‘Nothing Matters’), 1999 and Arthur C Danto ‘After the End of Art (Chapter 9 ‘The Historical Museum of Monochrom Art’)’, 1997
- Understanding constructivist art – ‘Art in Theory’ IIIC ‘Abstration and Form’ (Kasimir Malevich) and IIID ‘Utility and Construction’ (Alexander Rodchenko)
- Understanding Originality ‘Art in Theory’ VIIIA (Baudrillard)
- Understanding modernist critique from post-modern perspective (Baudrillard) – tbd
- Understanding iconology W.J.T. Mitchell ‘ Iconology: Image, Text, Ideology’, 1987
- Texts on and from AllanMcCollum, available form his website
From my previous reading I discovered some thoughts by the French philosopher Jean Baudrillard (1929-2007) who suggested in ‘Similacra and Simulation’ that with the rise of media technologies for making models of the real, the relationship between the model (the map) and the real social territory its charts changed in the postwar years of the 20th century. He wrote “in the hyperreality of pure simulacra, then, there is no more imitation, duplication, or parody. The simulator’s model offers us ‘all the signs of the real’ without its ‘vicissitudes'” (Sturken and Cartwright, 2009, p.307).
The dictum of the ‘map is not the territory’ derives from Alfred Korzybski (1879-1950), a Polish American scholar who developed the field of General Semantics. The term means the confusion that one might have with replacing a model or abstraction of reality with the reality itself.
I find the relation of Allan McCollum’s ‘Plaster Surrogates’ with the simulacra quite relevant as it shows more than what one sees on the surface. The promise of showing a painting (indicated by the sign of the frame) and the resulting ‘surprise’ of looking at a framed void (blackness). Thus I will take this as one key element for my essay and assignment.
Kind of working thesis for me now:
The Void as the space for Renewal of Painting
I will see how it evolves and where my further reading and line of reasoning will lead it towards.
- McCollum, A. (1982) Collection Of Forty Plaster Surrogates, [Plaster and enamel paint], Available from: https://www.wikiart.org/en/allan-mccollum/collection-of-forty-plaster-surrogates-1982 [accessed 18 May 2017].
- McCollum, A. (1982/4) Plaster Surrogates, [Installation], Cash/Newhouse Gallery. Available from: http://allanmccollum.net/allanmcnyc/Cash-Newhouse-trevor.jpg [accessed 18 May 2017].
- McCollum, A. (1982/1983-85) Collection of Two Hundred Plaster Surrogates, [Enamel on cast Hydrostone], Available from: http://www.themodern.org/programs/2107 [accessed 18 May 2017].
- ‘Allan McCollum’ Webpage. [Online] Available from: http://allanmccollum.net/allanmcnyc/
- Sturken, M. and Cartwright, L. (2009) Practices of Looking : An Introduction to Visual Culture, 2nd ed. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, Inc.