Takeaway art: cultural trophies
curated by Simon Pyle
After shields were strewn at its base. takeaway art provides not only an experience of taking an object but also a souvenir of the exchange.
. In recent years. offices. the structure remained until the next battle. This exhibition will choose to present the works as they were originally created with the intent of giving the viewers an experience closer to the original intent of the artists.People have been collecting souvenirs and using objects to represent experience for as long as written history.the line on the horizon.
The central challenge of such a show is that while the work truly takes place first in the gallery and then in the homes. (What came first? Associations of a memory with an object. The act of taking away the object sometimes is more important than the object itself. the gallery is the only side of the work that most people see. the use of objects to represent experience has existed longer than the word souvenir has been English. which only migrated from the French word meaning “to remember” in 1775. billed as the first exhibition of takeaway art. In any case. The time and location where the forward force of an enemy phalanx dissipated and ran was commemorated by the placement of a tropaion.
A depiction of a tropaion from Trajan’s column. or the moment of a battle’s decisive turn to the favor of the victor. took a clever approach to this by showing individual items that had been taken away and then lent by their collectors to the show. A recent exhibition in Chicago. This trophy took the form of a tree dressed in the armor of a dead combatant. Longer probably. the souring of wine. and wastebaskets where takeaway art ends up. or marks forming characters to capture the past?) The Greek work tropê means the turn or change . studios. the art object as item for giveaway or as souvenir has proliferated. This show presents several works of takeaway art from the past twenty years that exhibit fresh takes on the concept. As Relational Aesthetics encourages the creation of art as a service.
Untitled (Portrait of Ross in LA) (1991).Félix González-Torres “Untitled” (Portrait of Ross in L. endless supply. Candies individually wrapped in multicolored cellophane. ideal weight: 175 lb. Though the dimensions of the work vary as candy ends up in pockets and mouths. This installation consists of candies in colorful cellophane wrapping piled on the floor of the gallery with an invitation to gallery-goers to take a piece. Overall dimensions vary with installation.A. echoing the weight of Gonzalez-Torres’ partner Ross before he began to succumb to AIDS.
. it echoes Ross’ decline.). His work in the late Eighties and early Nineties cast the mold for a number of future artists both in concept and form.
It is impossible to begin any discussion of takeaway art without a nod to Felix GonzalezTorres. 1991. the work begins with the ideal weight of 175 pounds. This exhibition includes perhaps his most famous piece. As the work diminishes.
Jason Lazarus’ Try Harder (2008) and Jeremy Deller’s Poster Stack (2009). “Untitled (The End). 1991
Two works are included that use this form in interesting ways. 3
. and Untitled (The End) (1990). Untitled (Aparicion).” 1990. Try Harder functions slightly outside of the format set by Gonzalez-Torres.” He gave away small prints of the poster and arranged to have
Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Throughout the day. but the condition of the piece is that the supply of posters must be unlimited. but in the context of this exhibition it is more important in setting a form for takeaway art that will be copied and reconsidered repeatedly to the point of becoming cliché. Lazarus presented in a gallery a large (nine feet by twelve feet) newsprint poster of Otis Redding performing with the exhortation scribbled across to “try harder. the height of the stack will vary. even with the ironic title of The End. This is perhaps a nod to immortality. These stacks of posters invite viewers to take one (thus becoming not viewers but participants).Two of Gonzalez-Torres’ poster pieces are included here as well: Untitled (Aparicion) (1991).
The medium takeaways are more similar to the typical poster art giveaway . However. the bulk of the life of the work takes place outside of the gallery where people place the work in new contexts and project their own associations with the piece and the story of the acquisition. but the collection of photographs completes the work. We usually only see the first part of takeaway work in the form of the distribution in the gallery. Lazarus asks people to hang the posters somewhere that they can use additional inspiration and then to send him a photo of the poster in situ. What makes both of these forms stand out from other similar work is what happens after the posters make their way into the world.medium prints given away for free at record stores in New York.a work of art completed by the viewer. The poster on its own is only of slight interest.
. The small giveaways function partially as the artwork and partially as a traditional souvenir: a convenient reduced representation to be brought home as a reminder of the original.
com/#/work:11:try-harder/media:406:submitted-jpgs:-v.Above and facing page: “Try Harder” in situ from http://www...jasonlazarus.
This brings the subversive nature of the takeaway art piece to the fore. 2009 less connected to free Offset Poster (edition of 2000)A2 size art and more explicitly about the act of taking an object from a gallery. In a similar vein. for which he won the Turner Prize.In addition to staging The Battle of Orgreave. In Poster Stack. Will St. an alarm goes off.be/A54tmzAQV7I 6
. Leger presents a gallery of work and then at a unknown time. Leger Still from “Art Raid” 2007 http://youtu. Poster Stack. Leger’s “Art Raid” events provide the thrill of taking work directly off the wall of the gallery under frantic conditions. In this way.
Will St. The whole event ends in thirty seconds of adrenaline as people compete for art. In this way he gives the viewers an experience that is Jeremy Deller. Deller creates a self-aware stack of takeaway posters emblazoned only with a scrawled “Please take One” (sic). the experience and story of acquiring the art becomes as much of the work as the actual art object. Jeremy Deller is known for musically inspired poster giveaways. St. it is a thrill to not only touch a work of art but also take it home. signaling a free-for-all for viewers to become sanctioned thieves and tear work from the wall on their way out of the gallery.
in the words of the designer. with the intention that it would become part of the fabric of the city . designed by Thomas Feichtner and produced by Vitra. A Felix Gonzalez-Torres poster stack in Rome is the same as the poster stack in New York.The Linz Hocker Stool (2009). Objects with a defined purpose are also easier to value. much of the other work in this exhibition has been presented in more than one city. Austria. 2010
Designed by Thomas Feichtner
. By giving away something functional in addition to aesthetic. While all of the takeaway work is in a way site-specific in that the pieces likely end up in homes loosely clustered around the distribution point. that it would begin to appear not only in kitchens and sheds of Linz. but also in flea markets and other secondary distribution sites in the future. This grey functional stool was given away only once in Linz. which helps side-step a question inherent in much takeaway art: if an object is free and made of relatively cheap materials (such as newsprint). Feichtner can help assure the persistence of the objects. creates a takeaway piece that is a twist on the idea of a site-specific work. what is its value? Linz Hocker Stool.
“The Slant on Shilpa Gupta” 2010 http://www.artslant. Again.” and stacks them to be taken in galleries.com/ny/articles/show/19843 8
. each soap 6” x 2” x 1. “In the gallery setting things are easier in some respects--people know the kind of thing I’m doing…What’s much more interesting is to take art out of the art world…”1
Shilpa Gupta Threat. 2009 Embossed Body Soap. Her goal is not only to bring the viewer into the work.5”
1 Sophia Powers. this work is only finished by the recipient of the soap who transforms the fortified stack of soap bricks into the intimate experience of washing the body with a representation of the body of another. the Indian artist. but also to bring the experience of the work outside of the gallery context.Shilpa Gupta. embosses them with the word “THREAT. She tints bars of soap to resemble her skin. presents similarly functional yet highly ephemeral items in Threat (2009).
The submitted wish then becomes a printed wish for a future show. drop it through a hole in the wall.
Rivane Neuenschwander I Wish Your Wish. 2003 9
. Neuenschwander Rivane Neuenschwander encourages viewers to write I Wish Your Wish (detail). and wear it until it falls off. this work creates a chance for people to wear the wishes of fellow anonymous participants. 2003 a wish on paper. and then take from the gallery wall an existing wish printed on ribbon. tie it around the wrist.some of the earliest mass-produced prints were sold to medieval pilgrims as souvenirs. Inspired by a tradition at a church in Bahia. Unlike other takeaway work that creates a exchange (and thus a bond) between the artist and the recipient. Pilgrims have been collecting souvenirs for centuries .Rivane Neuenschwander piece I Wish Your Wish (2003) also brings the work outside of the gallery. Brazil where pilgrims write a wish on a ribbon and then wear it until it falls off.