The Festival of Appropriation
Appropriation is an important historical practice in art-making, in
which the artist uses a previously existing form, image or sound in new
ways. The creative effort is defined by the inspired selection and
manipulation of found materials. The end result is a strangely familiar,
yet altogether new creation.1 I add this definition from the Soap Factory
website for two reasons, one is I had no idea what appropriation was, and
the second I think it is a very good explanation an explains very well what
this exhibition is about.
When I walked into the room of the show I could see and hear that the
artist mediums include many varieties including film, stuffed animals,
collage, sculpture and more. I found myself gravitating towards things that
I thought were pretty, or humorous. Like Michael Thomsen's work, God Clock,
Mixed Media,created in 2007.
His piece is a beautiful jumble of lights, religious images, gold
gilding, bull horns, and other nick knacks. Mostly all done in jewel
tones. The piece seems both political, religious, and meaningful in other
ways I can not explain.
I also liked the way the exhibit was curated. There were about four or
five rooms and I was excited to see that they put more of Michael Thomsen's
work in a room later in the show. Many of the artists work was displayed in
more than one area. I liked this set up better than putting all of one
artists work in one place. It was like a nice surprise to see something
later on in the exhibit that I recognized, I felt artist knowledgeable. I
was able to say. "Hey there's Michael Thomsen's work, hes my favorite."