Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Nothing New under the Sun

Here is an article written by Kenny Goldsmith praising Richard Prince who has made a facsimile copy of The Catcher in the Rye, inserting his own name in place of J. D. Salinger’s.

Goldsmith writes:

“A few months ago, a friend pulled off her bookshelf a new appropriation work by Richard Prince, one so radical and so daring, that I almost couldn’t believe it was by the same artist. The premise of the book was achingly simple: a reproduction of the first edition of The Catcher In The Rye, identical in every way except the author’s name was swapped from J. D. Salinger to Richard Prince. The production value of the book was astonishingly high, a perfect facsimile of the original, right down to the thick, creamy paper stock and classic typeface.”

It is peculiar how Goldsmith forgets to mention his own book Day (another work of “unoriginality”) being similarly appropriated (though in a far more ironic and conceptual manner) by Kent Johnson, a few years ago, who, I think, might have been the first person to do this sort of thing with a published book.

It appears nothing is original in conceptual art anymore, even when it’s trying to be unoriginal.