This site is made possible by its sponsors. Please visit them!




ArtLex Art Dictionary




aappropriation - To take possession of another's imagery (or sounds), often without permission, reusing it in a context which differs from its original context, most often in order to examine issues concerning originality or to reveal meaning not previously seen in the original. This is far more aggressive than allusion or quotation, it is not the same as plagiarism however. An image reused in collage is an example, but more complete are the photographs that Sherri Levine (American) made of photographs by earlier photographers.


Examples of works involving appropriation:



see thumbnail to leftKrzysztof Wodiczko (American, born Poland,  1943-), The Tijuana Projection, 2001, public projection at the Centro Cultural de Tijuana, Mexico (as part of In-Site 2000). Krzysztof Wodiczko creates large-scale slide and video projections of politically-charged images on architectural façades and monuments worldwide. By appropriating public buildings and monuments as backdrops for projections, Wodiczko focuses attention on ways in which architecture and monuments reflect collective memory and history.




see thumbnail to rightDara Birnbaum (American, 1946-), Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman, 1978-79, videotape, color, sound, 5.5 minutes, Electronic Arts Intermix, NY. This piece is one of the first examples of appropriating imagery from mainstream television, a practice that has become widespread. Wonder Woman, the main character of a prime-time program based on an action-adventure comic book of the same name, is captured in her twirling metamorphosis from "real" woman to super-hero. Birnbaum manipulated this and other scenes in a variety of ways. Birnbaum has written about "plunging the viewer headlong into the very experience of TV-unveiling TV's stereotypical gestures of power and submission, of male and female egos." See video.







see thumbnail to leftRichard Prince (American, 1949-), Untitled (Cowboy), 1984, Ektacolor print, artist's proof from edition of 2, 40 x 27 inches (101.6 x 68.5 cm), collection of Mr. and Mrs. James R. Hedges IV. This is a picture "rephotographed" (as Prince called it) of the "Marlboro Man" -- a character recurring for many years in advertisements for Marlboro cigarettes. See photography and tattoo.



Also see analogy, copy, copyright, counterfeit, facsimile, fake, forgery, homage, likeness, mirror, replica, representation, reproduction, simile, simulacrum, and simulation.






ArtLex Art Dictionary
Copyright © 1996-current year