Notes from Joel Fisher, Artist, and Curator this exhibition:
âI find that art rarely deals with tradition in an intelligent or balanced way. The past is either loved excessively or hated. Quotations of artwork are either used as false content or as prestige enhancement; sources are disguised as if they are a source of embarrassment. The exhibition Double Takes explores the transformation of acknowledged cultural sources, in contrast to those that are hidden or denied.
A group of ten drawings by Carmel Buckley are exhibited here to introduce the theme, supplemented with insights by other artists who, in slightly different ways, have been concerned with the same issue.
Considering the modest scale we are working with here, using Carmel Buckley's work to represent a larger issue is appropriate: she has something of a pioneer status in this area. Buckley's drawings are based on the illustrators Harry Clarke, Kay Nielson and J-J. Grandville. When Carmel began her approach to drawing, the images of these illustrators were difficult to find. Due, in part, to her enthusiasm, some have now been republished. Buckley's use of sources offers an unusually clear example of how a drawing can find new structures in previously existing work.
There is a generosity in the work of artists who, instead of hiding their sources, share what they have discovered with others. Public presentation introduces an entire body of work from the past to an audience that previously may have been unaware of its existence. This is not art as reportage, but of experience. The past is approached as if it is present. A previously completed work is âread' by reliving and reordering of its potential emotional content. The assumption of incompleteness is often a hidden theme in the production of new artworks. The implications of this issue, too, are yet to be explored.
Double Takes is not just about a second glance toward something we assumed was finished. It makes a double contribution in two specific ways: it introduces the audience to something they may not have known existed, and it suggests that there are ways of refiguring the past that can create a fresh and relevant vision. The role of the greater work is to model an approach with broader implications and to import discoveries into a contemporary world. â