“Why did we think conceptual art was impervious to the hype-machine? Sous les pavés, le hashtag? Can you hear the push notifications during 4’3”? Does the true artist help the world by revealing relatable content on Instagram? The Readymade is Readydead? Oh, you’ve Readyseen that Readysaid?
Can one appropriate conceptual gestures without perpetuating them? Didn’t Barbara Kruger say that plagiarism is the sincerest form of imitation? Or is there only so much variation in the laconic?
And what is this strain of conceptualism? Straining conceptualism? Layman’s conceptualism? South Park conceptualism? Toilet reader conceptualism? An entry level critique aimed at upsetting a hypothetical status quo none of our galleries even have the muster to sustain anymore? Is it the critique we deserve or need? Or what we’ll settle for currently as we begin recalibrating our sinking standards for next season? Like, for real, this where we at though? If there’s a concept at work here, where exactly does it reside? Outside the text, the work, the room, the industry?”1
1. Mitchell Gilbert Messina (2018) A guide to interrogating the words and sentences of Ed Young, Cape Town: SMAC. Page 2.
SMAC, Cape Town, Ed Young: Bad Gallerist, 30 August to 6 October 2018.
Mitchell Gilbert Messina (2018) A guide to interrogating the words and sentences of Ed Young, Cape Town: SMAC. Illustrated in colour on page 42.