Cannibalism? On Appropriation in Art

07.03 – 31.05.2015 Cannibalism? On Appropriation in Art

Zachęta – National Gallery of Art

curator: Maria Brewińska
cooperation: Katarzyna Kołodziej

The exhibition at Zachęta – National Gallery of Art is devoted to issues of appropriation, borrowing, processing, remixing and sampling of culture using existing objects such as artistic and press photographs, works of art created by other artists, films, literature, music, and all things created within the wider sphere of culture and beyond. Such actions differ in their scope, from direct, literal appropriations free of any intervention by the artists, through small transformations, to inspirations producing brand new works of art and new visual forms, only alluding to their originals.

The term ‘appropriation art’ is used in the visual arts, and has its origins in the avant-garde of the early 20th century, the works of the cubists, surrealists and Dadaists. Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque created collages which combined found objects, challenging the traditional mimetic painting. Clearly, this strategy was evident in Marcel Duchamp’s ready-mades – mass-produced objects found in the artist’s immediate environment. Duchamp’s work questioned the status of the artist and the work of art, the notions of ownership, originality, and plagiarism, as well as of the reception of works of art. The practice of massive appropriation returned along with the productions of pop art artists. Interestingly, in the 1960s their work, just like that of Duchamp, became the subject of appropriation. This is evidenced by an endless chain of appropriations that define the strategies of contemporary artists.

Despite such a long tradition and the popularity of this practice, it has evoked discussions and disputes in artistic circles, especially in recent years, with some participants appreciating it as creative activity and a sign of freedom in culture, and others treating it as an act of piracy, or theft of intellectual property. The exhibition raises questions about the issue of originality, copying and reproduction, appropriation of works of art in the light of copyright law, and finally, the most essential issue – the problem of artistic freedom. The word ‘cannibalism’ present in the title of the exhibition is derived from critical studies of the eras of colonialism and post-colonialism – a period of absorption of the heritage of foreign cultures. In the case of the exhibition, the term refers to appropriations or borrowings of the works of other artists. In the colloquial sense of the word, ‘cannibalism’ bears negative connotations and contains an element of violence. One might ask if the strategy of appropriation so widely practised in contemporary culture is an act of violence of sorts – against the appropriated works and their creators.

artists: John Bock, Cezary Bodzianowski, Candice Breitz, Jordan Doner, Gardar Eide Einarsson, Jack Goldstein, Douglas Gordon, Aneta Grzeszykowska, Hold Your Horses, Johannes Kahrs, Deborah Kass, Edward Krasiński, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler, Sherrie Levine, Robert Longo, Goshka Macuga, Sandro Miller, Jonathan Monk, Yasumasa Morimura, Henrik Olesen, Richard Pettibone, Richard Prince, Karol Radziszewski, Thomas Ruff, Adam Rzepecki, Cindy Sherman, Aleksandra Ska, Jan Smaga, John Stezaker, Radek Szlaga, Rosemarie Trockel, Piotr Uklański, Ai Weiwei

 

 

Artists' works in the Zachęta collection

  • Zdjęcie pracy
    Edward Krasiński
  • Zdjęcie pracy
    Edward Krasiński1965
  • Zdjęcie pracy Tap
    TapEdward Krasiński
  • Zdjęcie pracy Installation
    InstallationEdward Krasiński1997
  • Zdjęcie pracy Praise the Flowery Meadows
    Praise the Flowery MeadowsKarol Radziszewski2007
  • Zdjęcie pracy Wall
    WallKarol Radziszewski2008
  • Zdjęcie pracy Ostrzeżenie
    OstrzeżenieKarol Radziszewski2009
  • Zdjęcie pracy Scotch pink (To Pee in a Bun)
    Scotch pink (To Pee in a Bun)Karol Radziszewski2009
  • Zdjęcie pracy Scotch pink
    Scotch pinkKarol Radziszewski2007
  • Zdjęcie pracy Negative book # 5
    Negative book # 5Aneta Grzeszykowska2012
  • Zdjęcie pracy Negative book # 7
    Negative book # 7Aneta Grzeszykowska2012
  • Zdjęcie pracy Negative book # 8
    Negative book # 8Aneta Grzeszykowska2012
  • Zdjęcie pracy Negative book # 9
    Negative book # 9Aneta Grzeszykowska2012
  • Zdjęcie pracy Negative book # 12
    Negative book # 12Aneta Grzeszykowska2012
  • Zdjęcie pracy Negative book # 25
    Negative book # 25Aneta Grzeszykowska2012
  • Zdjęcie pracy Negative book # 35
    Negative book # 35Aneta Grzeszykowska2012
  • Zdjęcie pracy Negative book # 45
    Negative book # 45Aneta Grzeszykowska2012
  • Zdjęcie pracy Negative book # 54
    Negative book # 54Aneta Grzeszykowska2012
  • Zdjęcie pracy Negative book # 62
    Negative book # 62Aneta Grzeszykowska2012
  • Zdjęcie pracy Negative book # 63
    Negative book # 63Aneta Grzeszykowska2012
  • Zdjęcie pracy Negative book # 64
    Negative book # 64Aneta Grzeszykowska2012
  • Zdjęcie pracy
    Aneta Grzeszykowska, Jan Smaga2005
  • Zdjęcie pracy Dog
    DogGoshka Macuga2011
  • Zdjęcie pracy I'm a Rebel
    I'm a RebelGoshka Macuga2011
  • Zdjęcie pracy The Attack of Mohair Berets
    The Attack of Mohair BeretsGoshka Macuga2011
  • Zdjęcie pracy Meteor in the Hands of the MPs
    Meteor in the Hands of the MPsGoshka Macuga2011
  • Zdjęcie pracy Bad Blood
    Bad BloodGoshka Macuga2011
Related events
  • Grafika wydarzenia:
    07.01.2015 (Wed) 20:00
    Zachęta / multimedia room (entrance from Burschego street)Zachęta / multimedia room (entrance from Burschego street)
  • Grafika wydarzenia:
    18.02.2015 (Wed) 18:00
    Zachęta / multimedia room (entrance from Burschego street)Zachęta / multimedia room (entrance from Burschego street)
  • Grafika wydarzenia:
    22.05.2015 (Fri) 17:00
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
Related media
  • mediateka / audio
  • mediateka / audio
  • mediateka / audio
  • mediateka / audio
  • mediateka / audio
  • mediateka / audio
  • mediateka / audio
  • Grafika obiektu:
    mediateka / audio-description
  • Grafika obiektu: Zachęta. March, April, May 2015
    mediateka / folders / Texts
    Zachęta. March, April, May 2015
    Magazine
  • Grafika obiektu: Cannibalism? On Appropriation in Art
    mediateka / posters
    Cannibalism? On Appropriation in Art
  • Grafika obiektu: Cannibalism? On Appropriation in Art
    mediateka / posters
    Cannibalism? On Appropriation in Art
  • Grafika obiektu: Cannibalism?
    mediateka / video-documentation
    Cannibalism?
    On Appropriation in Art

Information

Cannibalism?
On Appropriation in Art
07.03 – 31.05.2015

Zachęta – National Gallery of Art
pl. Małachowskiego 3, 00-916 Warsaw
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Godziny otwarcia:
Tuesday – Sunday 12–8 p.m.
Thursday – free entry
ticket office is open until 7.30 p.m.  

partner of the gallery: Kancelaria Malinowski, Płachta i Wspólnicy
sponsor of the opening ceremony: Freixenet
media patronage: The Warsaw Voice, Stolica