UNDERSTANDING ET AL An Idiot’s Guide By Andrew Paul Wood
L. Budd Et Al • Postmodernism is the result of 5000 years of western culture sticking its fingers down its throat. • Et Al’s work is about deconstructing and subverting the often absurd traditions of twentieth century art.
L. Budd Et Al • In 1917 Marcel Duchamp put an unplumbed urinal in a Paris art gallery as a critique of the power of dealers and galleries to dictate trends in art (coinciding with the rise of the avant-garde, cubism etc).
L. Budd Et Al • Duchamp called the urinal Fountain and signed it R. Mutt. • It became the iconic original of all conceptual art – art in which the ideas generated are more important than the object itself.
L. Budd Et Al • Et Al’s portaloo Rapture, exhibited in Telecom Prospect 2004, refers back to Fountain. • Portaloos suggest a more democratic and Kiwi alternative.
L. Budd Et Al • The cubicles also playfully reference the 20th century minimalist art movement – especially the cubes of American artist Donald Judd. • Minimalism is concerned with manipulating gallery space with simple shapes, grids and repititions
L. Budd Et Al • The explosive noises emanating from the cubicles are recordings of French nuclear tests in the Pacific. The inferences are: • The impact of Duchamp on art was like a nuclear explosion. • French modernity and imperialism occur both in art and politics, and are equally double sided. • French nuclear tests treat the Pacific like a toilet.
L. Budd Et Al • The donkey braying emanating from the cubicles may represent French intransigence on the issue, but also one of the constituent personae of Et Al: P. Mule
L. Budd Et Al • P. Mule is a direct nod to R. Mutt
Why the artist shouldn’t have to front up • The whole idea of a quasi-fictive collective frees the artist from being locked into any one way of working by public expectation. • Nor is attention diverted to the artist at the expense of the art. • It’s like demanding a mime speak or a magician reveal their tricks.
The idea of the Et Al collective has a respectable pedigree • Authors who write under many different pseudonyms. • One actor playing multiple roles.
This is not the work that went to the 2005 Venice Biennale It has no relationship to the argument
Of course contemporary art is elitist • All complex cultural specialities are, including: • Classical Music • Politics • Law • Rugby • Cricket
Get Over It Thank You