The Tyranny of Distance

  • Emily Mast, Not All There (RR), 2018, at TALM-Angers, November 2018

  • Emily Mast, Not All There (RR), 2018, at FLAX@ Tin Flats, November 2018

*Emily Mast, Not All There (RR), 2018*
20 audio recordings made in reaction to Robert Rauschenberg’s « Erased de Kooning Drawing » (1953) & acrylic paint

"Anna: So I think the next work we should talk about in this train of thought is by Emily Mast. Emily worked with the piece Erased de Koening by Robert Rauschenberg. Like Pierre Paulin, her work is in response to a pre-existing work, and moreover, Mast’s work is in response to a pre-existing work that itself is more or less absent, and is also a manifestation of a gesture of translation.

Sébastien: Erased de Koening is a work by Robert Rauschenberg from 1953, where Rauschenberg erased a drawing by de Koening, and so Rauschenberg’s piece was not so much the object, but the gesture of erasing, or making something absent, and the chain of references and relation to absence.

Anna: So Emily Mast invited people from various professions and walks of life, a lawyer, a child, an engineer, etc. to respond to Rauschenberg’s Erased de Koening. These are people who come from outside the art world, so their perspectives also make visible an ‘outside’ or ‘other’ point of view, just as Paulin and Boidy do in their work.

Sébastien: The people in Mast’s work who talk from various perspectives about the de Koening are approaching it from a distance, especially in this case from what we could consider the outside of art, although even the notion of interpretation of any artwork is very much about coming to a work from an outside perspective. But in the case of interpreting the de Koening the idea of distance is multiplied since what people are interpreting is not just what remains, but about the disappearance of an originary work, so there is this idea of a work that’s not there anymore, that is redacted, so in itself at a distance."

This text is an excerpt from the performance The Infiltration by Joshua Schwebel whose project was to infiltrate the curators’ position in the exhibition. Read more