Dadaists referred to themselves as mechanics and the mechanic becomes the manipulator. Appropriation, used by artists during the dada movement, means to take existing works of art and manipulate them for another  purpose. The dadaist artists used this method in their work to create an anti war campaign, meaning they took existing appropriated materials and altered there meaning for their own message.

Melinda Gibson is an artist, that wanted to produce an original body of work that was not possible to reproduce. She used appropriation as a way of provoking questions about copyright and took advantage of the fact that photographs are so readily available for the taking in this highly digitised world. The images below are an example of her work.

The images she used to create these photomontage were all sourced from Charlotte Cotton’s “The Photograph As Contemporary Art”. There was an order to the way she worked, first categorising the images from the book into people, interior, exterior and abstract and then always began with a photograph containing a figure. From this starting image she would figure out what parts to remove and then decided which other images suited the negative space.

After reflecting on the point, Melinda Gibson makes with her work, that images are easily available now in a digital era I began to contemplate the images on social sites and who do the images on these sites really belong to? Once an image is uploaded to these sites they instantly gain a vulnerability in that they are up for grabs and to be interpreted in a number of ways. When the image has been taken from the site it leaves the context it has been placed in and therefore the perception of the image changes. Thinking of the photographs in this light makes me realise how little control the creator of the image has over once it has been uploaded.

Below is a photomontage I have created from images I have sourced off Facebook. The meaning of the image may not be clear but I like the ambiguity of it as it represents that uncertain fait the photograph has once it is presented on the internet.


One thought on “Appropriation

  1. Pingback: The Artefact: iBook « leehassall

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