That last post was not exactly collage related...but I could not resist the absurd little sourpickle ornament.
Today I have a quote from a paper that was presented at the First Annual Conference in Memoriam Eric Mottram in London, 1997. According to wiki, Eric Mottram was a teacher, critic, editor and poet who was one of the central figures in the British Poetry Revival. I don't know enough about his work to understand his relationship to art and collage, but I did find some of text in the paper COLLAGE & POST-COLLAGE: IN HONOR OF ERIC MOTTRAM by Pierre Joris pretty fascinating.
At first I was kind of nauseated by this comment in the second paragraph..."When we think of "collage" today, a nearly quaint, not to say condescending, image arises of people of all walks of life being "creative" by making visual collages & gluing various pictures cut out from magazines - preferably old Saturday Evening Post type attic collections - or family photo albums."...I hate the stereotype that collage has gained. It seems bittersweet. Of course I enjoy and promote the fact that art and creativity can be employed by anyone. I like it that people from all walks of life, and not to be biased I will include men and women in this category, (altho men doing family scrapbooks seems a more rare occurrence) can do things that challenge their minds and tap into the creative side. This is great in these times of ultra media bombardment (TV, movies, ipods, videos, dvds, cds, blu ray hdtv...aaa!) Assuming that most people don't believe they have an ability to draw or paint, a collage approach to imagery is a nice way to achieve interesting results, without copious supplies and technique. Our commercial society realized this niche a few years ago, and thru media exposure, collage joined up with scrapbooking and zillions of new tools, techniques, mediums, and kits showed up on the scene. Everyone is a collage artist! Rubber stamps, die cuts, special papers. Good grief, but what about those pursuing collage as fine art and not as craft??
And so the art-worthiness of collage got somewhat tainted in recent times. I thought only I felt this bias...and that I was just being sensitive to my own shortcomings with painting and drawing! I have been searching the web filling this blog for over a year proving to myself that collage is indeed it's own fine art...But when I read the quote mentioned above, it all came back and now I got angry. Grrr.
There were other interesting things in that paper, thankfully. It goes a bit into the history of collage and it's provenance (yawn picasso yawn braque, good grief) I also read this..."as Gregory Ulmer puts it: "[C]ollage is the single most revolutionary formal innovation in artistic representation to occur in our century." Ulmer, like many, if not most art and literary critics sees its origin in the quest for "a solution to the problems raised by analytic cubism,"..." I do think it has been revolutionary. Think of one creative sector not affected by cut and paste.
Moving along to other quotes I want to save from this essay...this one a quote from the Italian futurist painter Severini ..."to comprehend the sense of a more profound and inner reality which would have been born from the contrast of materials employed directly as things placed in juxtaposition to lyrical elements.'
"Gregory Ulmer suggests that "collage is the transfer of materials from one context to another, and 'montage' is the dissemination of these borrowings through the new setting," while Charles Bernstein sees montage as "the use of contrasting images toward the goal of one unifying theme" and collage as "the use of different textual elements without recourse to an overall unifying idea.""
Wow. I have to ponder over these before I can make an opinion. The essay branches off at this point and goes on to consider Eric Mottram and the collage aspects of his poetry.
Interesting stuff to think about.