2016 -2017 (ongoing series)
101x101 cm ('IMG_001')
Miscellaneous photographs from artist's phone, captions from artwork description plaques from exhibitions across London.
Digital print on aluminium.
In IMG, the images have been taken independently of the project, without the captions in mind, and the text is appropriated from public displays.
IMG examines the role of language in production and consumption of art. In particular, it is an exploration of the ways in which curatorial notes found beside artworks in museums and galleries create, frame, legitimise and fix the meaning of the pieces.
The series was triggered by the idea known in philosophy of science as the underdetermination of theory by evidence: any theory is capable of picking out the specific data that it talks about, but the data by itself does not determine (i.e. it underdetermines) which theory is to be used to interpret it.
IMG was conceived by applying the reasoning behind the problem of underdetermination to artworks and their curatorial captions.
We are intuitively familiar with the analogous relation: a single artwork can be legitimately interpreted in a variety of different ways; and each interpretation picks out the particular piece that it talks about; but the artwork does not by itself determine an interpretation.
However, unlike scientific theories that operate on a many-to-many basis with respect to the evidence, there is an implicit many-to-one relation between interpretations, reviews, curatorial notes and the specific artworks they aim to describe or explain.
The IMG series is created by the process of challenging the many-to-one relation between interpretation and artwork and creating a one-to-many relation instead.
If the same curatorial note can successfully create new meaning when it accompanies a previously unrelated image, it raises questions about the legitimising power and function of such notes in an institutional context.