‘In Appropriation’ presents a selection of contemporary photographers who directly instigate strikingly new photographic work through the appropriationof pre-existing imagery – whether it be found, historical, canonical, personal, archival or otherwise.
‘Appropriation’ has been an important conceptual strategy within the visual arts for nearly a century. But in the case of the artists presented here, this act is not purely a matter of taking an image from one context – be it history, advertising, or the vernacular – and placing it within another: that of the gallery, the museum, ‘fine art’. Instead, these photographers are carefully examining, incorporating, and then transforming – or riffing off of –such pictures in an effective, engaging, and incredibly original manner.
Within the digital age, photography’s past and present (and in a sense, its future) have collapsed and merged, and at the same time have been revealed to be seemingly infinite and ever-growing. This exhibition represents a new generation of practitioners who are harnessing the power of this collective mass of imagery, and are using it to instigate and inspire brave new forms of critical inquiry, creative experimentation, political engagement and personal expression.