Friday, 13 October 2017

Perspectives: Sherrie Levine

Sherrie Levine
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, a group of conceptual artists—including Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, and Sherrie Levine—known as the Pictures generation, began using photography along with appropriation techniques to scrutinise the strategies of visual representation. In 1981, while many of her coevals got their inspiration from everyday life images and the mass media, Levine began re-photographing abstracting or digitising reproductions of photographs by canonical male modernist photographers like Edward Weston, Walker Evans, and Alexander Rodchenko. Levine says "I want to put a picture on top of a picture, This makes for times when both disappear and other times when they’re both visible.” Sherrie Levine

(Left) Walker Evans,"Alabama Cotton Tenant Farmer Wife," 1936
(Right) Sherrie Levine, "Untitled" (After Walker Evans) 1979 

Levine has injected herself into the heroic male dominated world of photography. As a woman Levine is appropriating around the critique of art with a feministic point of view, adding a parasite meaning. Levine is using a postmodern manoeuvre to bring the discussion around to what is art? by removing the boundaries of expectations. 

"I try to make art which celebrates doubt and uncertainty. Which provokes answers but doesn’t give them. Which withholds absolute meaning by incorporating parasite meanings. Which suspends meaning while perpetually dispatching you toward interpretation, urging you beyond dogmatism, beyond doctrine, beyond ideology, beyond authority." Sherrie Levine  

Marcel Duchamp - Fountain 1917,
Right Sherrie Levine, Fountain (After Marcel Duchamp: A.P.), 1991

Marcel Duchamp's Fountain can be considered as one of the most postmodern pieces there is as he is denoting that art doesn't have to have a meaning or skill behind it, art can be something as mundane as a toilet if i say it is. Levine has interpreted herself as a parasite, turning something as tedious as a toilet into something which looks like it costs millions, also critiquing the market.