Don’t Talk To Me About No Significance Of Art

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

The print is an edition of five + 2 AP’s. Previewing an image of the work in progress on social media in 2018, the completed text work 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 Shirt’s selection. The original printed material and typegraphic, transposed 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, completing a digitally modified PDF scan of the original print, Shirt’s updated work includes the names of rap music producers Ghostface Killah, Westside Gunn, E. Jane, Kasseem Dean and Mykki Blanco, amongst many others.

The work debuted unframed in the exhibition Elsewhere, We Remain Unreadable that was presented at KeyClub in NYC from May 14 through July 11, 2021. More information about the show can be found here.