ARTWORK
Ongoing work from the 1990s to the present
Published on the occasion of Terry Atkinson's exhibition Ongoing work from the 1990s to the present at Lanchester Gallery Projects, Coventry, 26 November - 18 December 2009.
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2010-01-01

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Published on the occasion of Terry Atkinson's exhibition Ongoing work from the 1990s to the present at Lanchester Gallery Projects, Coventry, 26 November - 18 December 2009. Ongoing work from the 1990s to the present was a selected survey of Atkinson’s work from this period. The exhibition demonstrated the long-term commitment Atkinson’s practice has had to the examination of the economic, power and ideological structures of the art system and to the central condition of his practice, his unease at the notion of being an artist. Ongoing work from the 1990s included work from the IRAQ, ENOLA GAY and GIVE ME A BREAK series. ‘Cultural Studies’, where it is not cultural regression, is cultural maintenance. And, a kind of perverse cultural maintenance. Not only an attempt to inflate popular culture into high culture, but at the same time, an attempt to deflate high culture. This may not matter too much, except one of the main thrusts of this inflationary/deflationary action was made by attempting to deflate the rationalist project of the Enlightenment. There was increasingly something comical, not to mention contradictory, in the attempted dismissal of the Enlightenment notion of truth, using the rationalist methods of analysis and scholarship. …Amongst all this contradictory academic debris, the celebration of the ‘exotic’, so prominently displayed in 19th century Romanticism, and never quite completely extricated from the AGMOAS (Avant-Garde Model of the Artistic Subject) today, despite the constant pleas of more recent current alleged secular counter claims, from 19th century radical theory, moved its target from ‘native primitivism’ to ‘low brow media narrative’.

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