Wednesday, 20 October 2010

'A Little Death' by Sam Taylor Wood 2002

In this still life Sam Taylor Wood manipulates the combination of creative strategies to direct her viewers attention and receipt of the piece.  Using composition and lighting typical of fine art painting or photography, the disturbing subject matter becomes somewhat acceptable as art.  Does this mean that we can literally put anything on a plinth and call it art?...and does the fact that I'm even asking that question begin to reference Marcel Duchamp and Dadaism?  Subverting the meaning by altering context is a powerful strategy driving the viewer to reconsider what they are observing and what it means.
The peach acts as a static object creating contrast by continuously referencing the idealised, traditional still life subject matter, whilst leading focus to the movement and transformation of the decaying hare.  As an identifiable object the hare mirrors back the contrast to the seemingly non-perishable fruit, raising questions about what resides in the body.  The transformation of the decomposition not only alters the physical form of the object, but also its meaning and connection to the static.  

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