Guest post by Louise Mackenzie, winner of the graduate art competition at the Synthesis Exhibition
“at first only mimesis was art, then several things were art but each tried to extinguish its competitors, and then, finally, it became apparent that there were no stylistic or philosophical constraints. There is no special way works of art have to be.”
Arthur C Danto, After The End of Art, 1997
The emptiness left by post-modernism influenced my work strongly at art school. I was troubled by the lack of muse, the sense of nothingness within which contemporary art had to function. It seemed to me that either I was left to create in the gaps between what already exists in the world, through appropriation or repetition, or that I could push out into the space beyond the known, through mutation and innovation. I chose to reach beyond and my method was collaboration. By teaming up with specialist skills and knowledge from other disciplines, it was possible to come up with novel forms of expression: for example the use of micro-algae as an oxygen producer to highlight our symbiotic relationship with the planet and hint at our abuse of it.
Louise Mackenzie, Life Support, 2013 (image Chris Foster)
Tracie Shaylor, Evolution and Atrophy, 2011 (image John Lynch)
Eddy Dreadnought, Embryology of Thought, 2013 (image John Lynch)
Synthesis runs until 10 November at Victoria Warehouse, Manchester