According to Wikipedia’s wiki, the art of Appropriation
“can be understood as the use of borrowed elements in the
creation of a new work.”
In class, we had a session on Appropriation which we were
given several examples of other artists in order to visually
understand the meaning. Right after the lecture was over
we exchanged photographs with the one who sat next to us,
in my case Paulina. We were told to make something
new out of the available content. I gave my photographs
to Paulina and got hers. I start browsing through them in
order to find an idea, how to combine them or just
manipulate them. To be honest it proved to be more
difficult than I expected as the content was unknown
unknown to me and I did not know how to link them
together. Though as were unknown to me, I was
emotionally detached from them, so I could actually
do whatever I wanted to without any second thoughts.
I picked two photographs that seemed to be more
familiar with my point of view on landscapes.
After looking at them for a while, an old photograph of
mine came in mind. It was a film double exposure I had
done with a Diana F+. Actually it was a double exposure
by mistake, but the end result was quite pleasing.
So having this photograph in mind I did the same thing
with Paulina’s photographs.
I joined them in Photoshop on different layers and did
some colour correction on both of them but separately,
in order to achieve a “unified” exposure. Frame them
with a black border and…voila!
Enough information I gave out already. I will let you find
the connection by yourselves.
Though the word appropriation had been new to me, the
art of appropriation wasn’t. I think that most people have
done that at least once in their lives, for any reason. It’s
something that we encounter in our everyday lives, as much
as we do with photographs. It’s a quite respectable form of
art that has always been part of human history. Even more,
its ideological foundation can be found anywhere, not just
as a form of art. To be influenced, to imitate and eventually
copy something or someone’s actions or work is the key
to human evolution. It’s the only reason we left the caves
a long time ago.
For several reasons in our current social structure we are told
that appropriation is equal with plagiarism and theft!
Trying to stop our evolution for the sake of money and
profit is like trying to block a river’s flow. One day eventually
it will break free. It is its natural progression.