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July 22, 2013 Repository 78: Freedom is the Power to Translate Posted In: art practice, contemporary art, design, perspective

In a True Democracy the Many are Obligated to the Few, courtesy of the artist Catherine Haley Epstein

In a True Democracy the Many are Obligated to the Few, courtesy of the artist Catherine Haley Epstein

Since it’s the last week that my show is up in Portland, I thought I would post a piece or two to this forum. One of the more popoular was a chart that I made over the course of several years. It’s colorful and full of information, and open to interpretation. An installation image may be found here and here.

The title of the piece is: “In a True Democracy the Many are Obligated to the Few”.

A democracy implies a system for choosing and replacing, and the active participation of people. I’m playing with this idea and the idea of the contemporary art system, which is by no stretch of the imagination a democracy. What if it could be? The contemporary artists listed start from Van Gogh and reach to present day artists such as Guy Ben-Ner and Ann Hamilton. I’ve then drawn lines over the course of several years, based on the information I learn through research and reading. The lines don’t always correspond to thematic connections, they could be drawn because they dated, they dressed windows together to make a living, or they are mothers. While contemporary theorists would balk at my exercise, I truly find art historical texts and essays to be full of opinion and fiction – a sliver of reality framed in the most aesthetic light. So I thought I would try the same.
The thought of charting seeds of influence and creative relationships is one of the funnest exercises for me when learning about new artists. Someone just forwarded me another cross-disciplinary (e.g. musicians, writers, etc) map found on the web – one part fantastical, and one part real can be found here.

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