Tuesday, December 13, 2011

That's All Folks!

That's All Folks!
That's All Folks!
That's All Folks!

Installation with popcorn kernels, uniform and props, completed last week.  I've never put popcorn kernels on a wall before...now I know it's possible!

I think this piece is a distillation of a lot of the feelings I've had and things I've seen while visiting the States.  Most of all, I think it is about how history moves from one period of time to the next, and about the feeling that things are about to change.  It is also about the loss of illusions.

One of my favourite movies of all time is The Last Picture Show, which I couldn't help but think of as I was thinking up this piece, as well as thinking up the performance I did in McKeldin Square a few months ago.  While the film's trailer focuses a little more on the torrid affairs between the residents of the fictitious town, Anarene Texas, the movie is set during a time when the movie theatre was beginning to play less of a role in people's lives because of the home television set.

Also on the topic of the movement from one historical period to the next, I read the following quote in a class recently, written by the American art critic Martha Schwender on the use of appropriation in the work of the artist Sherrie Levine.  It excited me because it questions whether or not we are nearing the end of a long period of overarching irony/cynicism in contemporary art...or perhaps also a period plagued by a sense of cynicism in general?

Appropriation rose out of this desire to have it both ways, to keep what you loved-- or at least knew intimately-- and still make art. It was a great solution.  But I was born in the 1970s, following the burnout of the 60s, and it has run aground in recent years. Not only have artists like (Sherrie) Levine, Jeff Koons and Richard Prince been dragged through the legal system for their cultural borrowing, but the postmodern irony and cynicism on which Appropriation was founded also feels outmoded in the Occupy Age.


Sonya Philip said...

I am kind of obsessed with popcorn containers right now, so this really has appeal. I also love how the popcorn looks like candy. As for the appropriation/cynicism and the end of an era, I was reading this NY Times article and took heart:


Tara Bursey said...

Thanks for that link, Sonya! It was an interesting and uplifting article-- also makes think of how people are now attempting to re-skill themselves after decades of de-skilling via activities like canning, urban foraging, etc. While sometimes such things seem a tad trendy (?), they are essentially excellent skills to have and encourage people to consider sustainable alternatives.