Found objects take pride of place in Minor Revisions, Tenderpixel’s new exhibition in which works from seven artists reappropriate pre-existing items that have never functioned as art before and turn them into exhibition pieces. Sure, conceptual art is not everyone’s cup of tea and artistic appropriation has had its detractors ever since Duchamp debuted his urinal, but this small group of contemporary artists are by no means the only ones still operating in this particular mode of artistic practice.
What this collection of work does reveal is how many of these modern found objects are two-dimensional printed images, be that a found photo or an envelope lining or a catalogue. The artists tamper with the image, layer up their own ideas onto what’s already there, like Rebecca Chalmers, who adds to the linear insides of found envelopes to evolve them out of pure design and into drawing.
Cristina Garrido works over catalogues with correction fluid to lift away information on their contents, leaving a whisper-trace of the consumerist imagery that’s designed to entice us. Handling her works with the white gloves provided by the gallery makes you feel like an archeologist.
Less interesting are the pieces using found photographs, perhaps because they have a lesser physical manifestation of the artist’s input, and is more of a curatorial process in their case.
A sculpture piece comes in the form of Cadi Froelich’s tea table, upon which the artist has rendered hot drink rings, an intervention that is closest to drawing but which mingles almost unnoticeably with the surface that already exists. Similarly Marina Kassianidou’s collage is so site-specific it’s a challenge to find it without referring to the gallery notes.
The show’s title comes from the idea of editing text for publication, tweaking it until it’s ready to go out in the world and suitable for consumption. What the show itself does is appreciate how much effect these seemingly minor tweaks can have on a work and how powerful a small change can be.
-- Laura Bushell
All images courtesy the artists and Tenderpixel Gallery
Images: Marina Kassianidou, Untitled, 2011, Site-specific fablon collage, Dimensions variable; Cadi Froehlich, Untitled (Tea Table), 2010, Hot drink rings on side table, 40 x 50 x 50 cm.