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The Flag and the Territory



The I'm Going to Spain paintings are about mapping a zone. Wherein exists the conflation of the flag with the territory of ‘the thing’

For me, identity is something to be suppressed or perverted. Better be the flag than the territory or event of ‘the thing’. By painting, I’m concerned with the appearance of ‘the thing’. Maybe this is more important than its identity.

This is where contemporary painting and social reproduction share an interest. Both are concerned with circulating the look of 'the thing'. For them, identity, which in contemporary art is difficult to categorize, is relegated to a lesser status.

By tuning into appearance, the paintings attempt two different things at once. The first acknowledges the idealisation of a criticality, developed by consumer networks. The second gets involved with art formats that enable consideration as such.

The paintings attempt something other than reinscribing the legitimizing power of consumer networks. They clarify the emptiness of esteem economies and art's claims on contextual purchase.

This reveals how consumer networks and judgemental art world establishments are both concerned with perpetuating the importance of inclusion. Each creates a myth of elsewhere, which in art means (depending on your position) transcendence, an emptied now, the death of art, the demise of originality or an anxiety relievable by purchase.