DRAWING, MEMORY AND THEFT
A talk by Anne Howeson at Daniel Blau Gallery
22 Jan 2014
In the talk “Drawing, Memory and Theft” Anne Howeson discussed the idea of ‘originality and the contemporary’ in drawing today. The theme of the lecture was of “the role of memory as a trigger to the imagination, and the concept of reference and appropriation from photography, prints and other media.”
Howeson spoke about the originality in postmodernism, “A number of postmodern theorists and artists have questioned whether there is such thing as originality in art”.
Postmodernism rejects the modern idea of originality as the new, and substitutes it with a combination of elements from the past. One of the main characteristics of Postmodernism was its tearing down of borders between styles and various cultural elements and the advance towards seeking something new and original was discarded and substituted with an amalgamation of elements from past and existing cultures.
Postmodernism distances the subject, to declare the death of individualism. It leads to the reprocessing of objects and images from the past to create a more real and personal experience. “There is too much information for us to process and make sense of and we are trapped in a world of second-hand experiences, dependent upon media representation of the world rather than our first-hand experience.”
Originality as observed by contemporary artists, borrows heavily from postmodernist discourse. Howeson discussed works of several postmodern artists who participate in a critique and deconstruction of the myth of traditional originality whilst simultaneously seeking new ways to take their art in new and unexpected directions.
Sherrie Levine, Andy Warhol and their many followers questioned and re-positioned issues around authorship and the original in artistic practice. This legacy is important to explore as the appropriated image and the pastiched image is so central in today’s art and commercial practice especially since the growth of digital imaging.
“Memory is the cabinet of imagination,The treasury of reason,The registry of conscience,And the council chamber of thought.”-Basile
It is perhaps an uncontroversial truth that the imagination is important for creative thought. The terms ‘creative’ and ‘imaginative’ are often used interchangeably.
About Anne Howeson –
Anne Howeson is an award-winning artist and tutor at the Royal College of Art. Her work is included in the permanent collection of the Museum of London. Anne was a selected artist of Time Out critic Ossian Ward in the Discerning Eye Mall Gallery exhibition, November 2011. Network Rail commissioned a digital print series of her work in 2012, these prints are now part of a permanent exhibition to mark the reopening of the multi-million pound redevelopment of King’s Cross Station. Her current project, ‘The Present in the Past’ is a collaboration with the Museum of London’s prints and drawings archives. The work for the current drawing project responds to prints from several London print archives by appropriating digital fragments from source material, reworking and transforming them in scale and content to evoke a sense of passing time. Her work as a lecturer is concerned with drawing and visual research. She initiated and co developed DRAW and the VR Course at the RCA.