Oli Sorenson.
FONTANA MASHUP

For the Fontana Mashup series, Sorenson pursues an approach initiated with his Video Pistoletto series to transfer the gestures of established artist upon new materials. Here he re-enacted Lucio Fontana’s incisions onto copies of some of the world’s most expensive masterpieces. The artist bypasses Walter Benjamin’s trope on mechanical reproduction by commissioning hand-made duplicates from artisans in China. The ensuing oil paintings serve as receptacles for Sorenson’s creative gestures, using a utility knife. Slashing strokes instead of brush strokes rule this motion to cut the Gordian knot of planar aesthetics and disrupt the integrity of Western canonical images.

 

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The premiere of this performance was delivered in June 2016 onto a selection of works already embedded in twentieth century art history. To this end, the slits traversing such copies are not intended to disfigure authentic masterpieces as much as to point out the power relations entailed between unique originals and their ubiquitous reproductions. It is especially true since the emergence of digital devices, that institutionalized works of art from diverse times and places appear continually updated by their omnipresence online. Sorenson responds to this condition by reinstating some of these works in the field of contemporary art by smearing the threshold between modes of production, reproduction, restoration and destruction.

Fontana Mashup (Warhol), slashes and commissioned oil on canvas, 102x102cm, June 2016 (photo credit: Claude Labrèche-Lemay)

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Fontana Mashup (Gauguin), slashes and commissioned oil on canvas, 101x77cm, June 2016 (photo credit: Samuel Labarre)


Fontana Mashup (Picasso), slashes and commissioned oil on canvas, 130x97cm, June 2016 (photo credit: Claude Labrèche-Lemay)


Fontana Mashup (Picasso), performance at Popop Gallery (video archive), June 2016 (photo credit: Claude Labrèche-Lemay)


Fontana Mashup (Cezanne), slashes and commissioned oil on canvas, 178x139cm, June 2016 (photo credit: Claude Labrèche-Lemay)


Fontana Mashup (Gauguin), performance stills, June 2016 (photo credit: Samuel Labarre)


Fontana Mashup (Gauguin), performance at Popop Gallery (video archive), June 2016 (photo credit: Samuel Labarre)

Fontana Mashup (Van Gogh), slashes and commissioned oil on canvas, 71x93cm, June 2016 (photo credit: Claude Labrèche-Lemay)


Fontana Mashup (Warhol & Cezanne), slashes and commissioned oil on canvas, June 2016 (photo credit: Claude Labrèche-Lemay)

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