Psittacittic Minimalism

In 2006 I made a series of works that were remakes of seminal minimalist pieces, using even cheaper materials than the originals. Afterwards, I realised that my pieces weren't parodies, because they kept the basic 'look' of the referent works, and only appeared cheap and disposable on closer inspection. At the time I wanted to base them on black and white photos of the original works, so all the pieces were various shades of grey. They were 'shadow facsimiles', based on inferior images and made from inferior materials. Later, I realised that by remaking them in this way, while I had reduced them somehow, by deriving them from pre-existing works they had gained something as well. The pieces had appropriated the art objecthood of the originals. By looking like 'art', and by being shown in an art context (the college where I was studying at the time), the pieces somehow too were 'art', or at least, accorded this definition by the viewers. To my mind they still lacked something that made them any good. My mind wasn't open to them, not because of their cheapness, but because they were so derivative. They had not moved on from the originals enough to stand on their own.

Because of this I called them Psittacittic Minimalism, works that parroted forms without understanding them. Through this I realised how hopelessly wedded I am to the notion of originality in art, even to the detriment of my own practice.

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