Monday, May 25, 2009

Ambulatory (2009)

While in residence in Hanoi, Vietnam, I asked four local artists to paint a portrait of my feet. Each artist (Nguyen Quoc Hung, Nguyen Nam Dong, Nguyen Cao Thang, and Nguyen Tat Long) was given the same photo of my feet walking. I encouraged each of them to use their own artistic license in the interpretation of the subject.

Hanoi has many businesses that specialize in re-creating copies of highly regarded original paintings. I took each of the finished feet portraits to four different Hanoi businesses that specialize in the “reproduction of the world’s masterpieces” I asked the owner to have a copy made of one of the original I gave them. Subsequently, I directed the owner of each shop to have the copy they had made reproduced by a different copy artists that they employ. The second copy was then reproduced by yet another one of their copy artists I continued this process until a total of five copies were made. The fifth copy was, in fact, a copy of the copy of the copy of the copy of the original.

The “copy” asserts the significant importance of the “original” and at the same time implies that an aspect of its full potential is not realized without it being reproduced. Displayed as a group together with the original paintings, my feet are animated. I walk…

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