In image, Some Art History shows two wooden ladders – the original and its double – in momentary balance. Reduced to formal elements without function, the paired objects echo the mathematical sign for infinity, extending invocations of continuity and return.
This edition print served as central work to the artist's 2014 exhibition with which it shared a title.
From the artist:
"Some Art History considers a mediated experience of the traditional canon of Western Art History and its objects. Borrowed and second-hand, the reality of this Art History is that of the replica, the copy, the translation; through mediums of transmission from Western ‘centre’ to South African ‘periphery’.
If art is either ‘plagiarism or revolution’ the objects in Some Art History are resolutely the former – illustrating fictions more seductive than the real thing, a preference for reproductions and for mediated experiences. They function in different registers; some allude to objects or themes that recur in the Art History narrative, others operate as visual analogies of progression and dispersion. The materiality of the objects and images engages with the techniques and mediums that transmit and disperse art and its histories over great distances of geography and time."
Duotone lithographic print on Munken Lynx 130gsm | 43 x 61cm
Lucienne Bestall is a writer living and working in Cape Town. She holds a degree in Fine Art and an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town. Distrustful of ‘artspeak’, Lucienne favours clarity over jargon, lyricism over intellectualism, and feeling over theory. She regularly contributes to ArtThrob, an online art magazine, and is published in three art historical surveys from Phaidon. She works at the A4 Arts Foundation.