In Signature, Camnitzer connects to the history of the twentieth-century avant-garde’s expansion and subversion of the artwork through his signature. In a Duchampian gesture, Camnitzer approaches the globe as a...
In Signature, Camnitzer connects to the history of the twentieth-century avant-garde’s expansion and subversion of the artwork through his signature. In a Duchampian gesture, Camnitzer approaches the globe as a ready-made, appropriating it as his own art by signing it. His use of the signature also resonates with the work of Argentine artist Alberto Greco (1931–1965), whose work transgresses and challenges institutional, societal, and artistic norms and values by designating living art objects through his signature. In 1960, Greco signed the city of Buenos Aires, making it a work of art.
Rather than a city or specific people, however, Camnitzer designates the entire globe as his artwork through his signature. Idealistically, it can be viewed as the artist finding artistic inspiration from an expansive field. At the same time, Camnitzer reveals the artist’s ego and power in his ability to name anything as his own by simply signing it, which implicitly adds value to an object as it becomes a work of art. In Camnitzer’s words: “I see art as the area where one can and should make ‘illicit’ connections, connections that are not allowed in disciplinary, fragmented thinking. Art illuminates them through questioning and allows (though not necessarily) for their possible affirmation after a critical and imaginative evaluation. This should be art’s social function, but it has been degraded by commerce.”
2021: South South, Alexander Gray Associates, Germantown, New York