Appropriation In Art – Part of a Belief System

In recent years the word ‘appropriation’ has become a fashionable, obliquely commendatory term used in discussions of contemporary art. The implication is that making use of a borrowed image is somehow a radically original thing to do. The less you change that image, the better. In particular, used in this context, the word also implies the existence of an unspoken conspiracy between the maker of what is being presented to general scrutiny as an artwork –‘Yes, anyone can look at this, feel free’ – and a privileged sector of the audience – ‘Congrats, you’re in the know.’


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