It’s almost four years now since I read this paper by Sturtevant–the first extended thing I’d actually read by her, not about her–when Tate Papers came online, and it’s been rocking my world ever since. She’d prepared it in October 2007 for a symposium titled, Inherent Vice: The Replica and its Implications in Modern Sculpture Workshop.
Her crisp, verse-like text talks about replicas, copies, repeats, remakes, and re-dos, and where our “cyber” age has brought them. Here’s a favorite part:
This trap, our obsession
of what lies on the surface,
is prevalent everywhere.
It is not a question of getting
rid of these potent elements as
not knowing it could be there.
Its blatant absence is in high gear
in most of our current art whose
push and shove is production
as meaning and consumption
Or burden by heavy subjectivity
hiding behind anonymity,
displaying our vast barren interior
by retreating to regressive teeny-bopper imagery.
The interior of art, the understructure,
is being concisely and brutally eliminated.
Ironically [because the next section of the talk is a criticism of listening instead of seeing], I’ve recently begun running art papers through my laptop’s text-to-speech, turning them into artist talks, which I listen to while I work. For whatever reason, Sturtevant’s text yields one of the robot’s best [re-]performances.
So I just recorded a reading by Alex, the most naturalistic of OSX’s default voices, which you can play here. It’s about 7min. [mp3]
Or re-do it yourself with your favorite voice: Inherent Vice or Vice Versa | Sturtevant, from Tate Papers Issue 8 [tate.org.uk/research]