Where? Is seeking submissions in all mediums for an upcoming show.

Originality is typically valued most highly in almost all disciplines, mediums, and fields of art, especially ‘high’ visual art. There are exceptions; in music, covers are secondary to original works but sampling, remixing, and borrowing lines are (rightfully) considered genuine techniques. In visual art, appropriating imagery has been considered ‘valid’ and popular by many for many decades – looking to Warhol and Kruger, for example. There is a long tradition of artists in positions of privilege and power appropriating or re-presenting works or concepts by other marginalised artists or communities and being given high praise. Obviously also no one works in a vacuum, art is not created in a vacuum; everything develops from something else.

Referencing and re-presenting works in different contexts, by different artists, et cetera can be extremely powerful.

In 2010, as Marina Abramovic’s The Artist is Present closed at MoMA, a group of queer and trans artists, many a part of and influenced by the BDSM/kink community, reperformed her works at 25CPW in NYC in a show called The Artist is Absent. The show was a celebration of her works and their importance to the participating artists but also a protest at the curatorial choices of the MoMA show. They aimed to give visitors a more accurate experience of the original works, by “openly engaging, and revitalising, the anti-institutional and activist ethic that marked the emergence of performance”(1). They also made explicit the frequently alluded to connections between Abramovic’s work and the BDSM/kink community, performed the works sequentially instead of all at once throughout the gallery, and the performers provided a more varied and contrasting group of bodies, some of which were (and still are) largely missing from the art scene.

Re/presentation aims to be a show that recognises the creativity and conceptual worth in ‘covers’ of all mediums, be they covers of songs, reiterations of performance works, re-presentations of paintings, reperformances or remixes of spoken word poetry, for example. Re/presentation recognises the personal significance many works of art have and the power in taking a particular piece that means something to you and making it your own, either by reperforming/representing/remaking it or by making work that stems from it or references it heavily. Re/presentation recognises the power and strength of using/representing/referencing a work to comment on the work itself.

Where? Is looking for submissions from artists and creatives across all mediums and disciplines, of all ages, of all career stages, to participate in this event/exhibition, including writers – either pieces as part of the show or as an accompanying exhibition text. While where? is Ōtautahi based and focussed, we are open to all submissions regardless of location.

Send a summary of your proposal to wherechch@gmail.com by the end of March 2017.

(1). Materializing Memory in Art and Popular Culture, edited by Laszlo Muntean, Liedeke Plate, Anneke Smelik

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