Copies at Lautom Contemporary, Oslo 2008

Copies of own work. Far below images.

“Dear Randi,
I am so much looking forward to this show and I am glad to tell you that I have skipped the film.
I now have a much better idea.
You know, for some time I have made these random drawings and paintings and
I kept some of them for years and I don’t know what to do with them. These water colours are made during very rare moments where
I am strolling around in my studio thinking about a new work, and while doing
so just out of the blue I have painted an elephant, my nose, a hand, whatever, and I haven’t known what to do with them. Some of them I later transferred into a happy birthday card but most of them have been lying around without purpose.
But, as I was thinking, the other day, about a title for your show I passed a copy shop and the title copies came up. For some reason I thought it was a splendid name and thought I should follow the title and so I decided to do copies of these drawings and give them a proper role. I am so happy to give them some dignity in the conceptual world of art and I really hope you like the idea.
When I told my friend Monica here in Brighton about this, who is a big Walter Benjamin fan, she said:
Reproducing a work of art by hand, rather than technically, photographically, at this point could seem like a laborious or unnecessary process - redundant.
So why would you do it? To copy by hand has been described as an act of devotion, it recalls the dedication of medieval scribes or art students dutifully transcribing the work of the
master, painting or plaster cast. Copying your own work calls on traditional art processes of scaling up from sketches; of ‘working up’ from an original idea, but it also draws attention to
‘genuine’- and perhaps redundant- ideas about the values of art and its making: the authentic status of the signature work, the aura of the original, hand made, and therefore unique and
irreproducible, work of art. At the same time, you are displacing these values, including those on which their prices depend. A handmade copy can only be inexact. In the hand made copy,
the idea of an ‘original’ work of art collapses. The ‘original’ and the copy become both distinct and equivalent: each is as authentic -or inauthentic- or valuable, as the other.”
But in a further irony, you also call on tradition as a means to re-instate something, which might otherwise become redundant. There is a sense of nostalgia, a desire for something to
be rescued from the past, which copying these “worthless” works seems to exemplify. As in your other works, performing desire is the means to portray its conflicts.

Ps please note the stain on this letter is a copy of a coffee stain I made on The letter to Anna 2005.
best
Annika
"

Work at the exhibition:

The letter to Randi, 2008
copy of a coffee stain made on The letter to Anna, 2005
Pen and coffee on paper
70x100 cm

Det kommer aldrig att hända, 2008
copy of That is never going to happen, January 2006
Pen on paper
152 x122

Jubileums målning bara till mig -tio år utställande
verksamhet 1995-2005/ anniversary painting just for
me -ten years of exhibitions, 2008
copy of Jubileums målning bara till mig -tio år utställande
verksamhet 1995-2005/ anniversary painting just for me
-ten years of exhibitions ,2005
Water colour on paper
65x50 cm

Untitled work , 2008
copy of Untitled work (elephant) a cut out from a demolished
painting, 2005
Water colour on paper
40x50 cm

The day I met you , 2008
copy of The day I met you, August 2005
Water colour on paper
50x65

I cant do this drawing now, England 23/9 2007, 2008
copy of I cant do this drawing now, England 23/9 2007, 2007
Pencil on paper
28x38 cm

I cant do this drawing now in red, 2008
copy of I cant do this drawing now in red , 2003
Pen on paper
28x38 cm

Handen på tunnelbanan / the hand at the tube, 2008
copy of Handen på tunnelbanan/The hand at the tube, 2003
Pencil on paper
23x 30 ½ cm

in studio  

 

 

copies  

That will never happen