This week I present a public art concept to committee, afterward I’ll catch you up with what that amounts to: in the meantime let’s think about some Museum ART.
Is this a bright idea? Maybe 49 bright ideas?. It is a solid example of a DangerIsm I call Modular Repetition. (DangerIsm’s are derived from my ongoing Syllabus of unlikely college-level classes, wherein I show students how to make Contemporary work that will immediately be received within the Post-Post-Modern paradigm.)
Modular Repetition: Repeating like forms with resultant grouping effect wherein individual forms are perceived as the structure of a larger mass. Forms can be uniquely created for this purpose, or common objects recontextualized. Forms may be used to clinical/pristine/machined effect, or “ruined” and obscured to further formal unity. In either case, the work must show no process of creation that would be ascribed to a traditional mastery- ie there must be no “artist’s hand” present.
A trip to the hardware store by Jim Hodges (born 1957) resulted in this nice little example of Modular Repetition titled Dot (1999).
This work is entirely devoid of the artist’s hand, and shows no process of its creation. This machine aesthetic is a polar end of Mod.Rep. At the other end, we have Petah Coyne’s Untitled #827 (Three Tier Chandelier-1996). This example of Modular Repetition utilizes industrially created birds and ribbon, then drenches them in tar-like wax, unifying the form.
Repetition, and the curator of the Kemper has cleverly hung them side
by side, as they both explore the “light fixture” theme, and derive their aesthetic from the same
art-historical paradigm, but in widely divergent ways.