Don’t Talk To Me About No Significance Of Art

Inkjet printed on unstretched canvas, 55 x 39.5 inches
Image courtesy the artist

Edition of 5 + artist’s proof. Previewing the work in progress in 2018, the completed print poses the question: ‘Can a rap song have the significance of art’ with proposed statements on the matter by 32 contemporary artists and thinkers of the artist’s selection. The original printed material and typegraphic from a 1922 issue of experimental arts journal Manuscripts (MSS) invited contributors to offer their opinion instead on the emerging medium of photography. The original prompt: ‘Can a photograph have the significance of art’ (in which only a maximum 600-word response was allowed printed unedited) largely featured the response of white, male artists and cultural theorists of certain notability and excluded inviting photographers to comment entirely. The issue’s cover design credits read as follows: apologies to “Dada” (American), Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, and acknowledgment to “Anonymous.” In 2021, digitally modifying a PDF scan of the original printed material, Shirt’s updated work includes rap music producers Ghostface Killah, Westside Gunn, E. Jane, Kasseem Dean and Mykki Blanco, amongst many others.

The work appeared unframed in the exhibition Elsewhere, We Remain Unreadable presented at KeyClub until July 11, 2021. More information about the show can be found here.

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