Research on above chosen work for assignment 4 question

The suggestion of my tutor to look at all the works, before making a choice for the assignment,  is discussed within on a separate blog page, named,  Considering Critical Thought During Exercises of Part 4.

I chose this artwork for my own subjective reasons:

  • I used to be a social worker in a housing project which in fact  was started shortly after the Depression years (1932) in South Africa, by a  non profit company, then called the  Citizens Housing Bond.  This project was one of at least 3 in areas around Cape Town,  in reaction to the Carnegie Commissions report of the  ‘Poor White Problem’ in the country.
  • Client privacy was always a professional standard that we adhered to and photos of clients was never considered in any project as part of the motivation for an action plan.
  • I  now live in a society as an expatriate resident,  where culture and religion protects personal privacy.  It is strictly forbidden and punishable by law for any  individual, citizen, including tourists, to take pictures/videos of some other individual without prior consent.
  • I first became aware of this work by Levine through the studies in Part 3 and my reading of Susan Sontag, whom my tutor suggested as reading material. Already here I became aware of Sherrie Levine as a postmodernist photographer who rejected the idea that photographs could offer us insight into reality, as it only depict an idea into reality.
  • Our society today is besotted with the taking of photos of themselves which are shared on social media platforms – is this not a form of documenting their lives publicly and through this making photography a mass art form for entertainment and experience?
  • Learning by being influenced is something that I find important and meaningful to develop your own artistic language and skills.

Background to the work

The work of Sherrie Levine, Untitled (After Walker Evans), 1981  will be explored for its possible interpretations in terms of difference.

After Walker Evans
a portrait of Allie Mae Burroughs, an Alabama sharecropper.

Untitled (After Walker Evans), was the title of a 1981  solo exhibition of the work of the photographer Sherrie Levine shown in New York at the Metro Pictures Gallery.  The exhibition was a series 22 photos, of famous American photographer Walker Evans, which Levine photographed directly from an exhibition catalogue and produced as her own work. Although it may be difficult to find difference, as  they differ from their primary source in size, surface, and resolution,  in the sense of distinguishing between the 1936 and 1981 photographs as shown above , it is important to note that Levine did not produce her image from Evans’s negative or even his gelatin silver print.  Levine’s work is ‘media derived’ and is a “picture not an original”  – to use the words of E Sussman (Evans:94)   After Walker Evans 1981 was photos taken from of a catalog reproduction of photos in 1941 of Evans’s 1936 ‘original’ images. By then this photograph was part of icons of art photography. (MOMA used it in an exhibition in 1938 and books were published with  them)   Levine referred her selection of Evans’ already-released photographs, taken in the 1930s for the Farm Security Administration (F.S.A.), as a federal installation of the Roosevelt era for improving the living conditions of impoverished tenant farmers in the American South.  In 1941 Walker Evans (1903-1975) collaborated with James Agee in a book, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men.   The Estate of Walker Evans interpreted the of series  of Levine as copyright infringement, threatened a lawsuit, and then bought all of the photographs to limit their distribution. In 1994, the estate gifted them to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Subsequently, Levine gifted  what was left of her collection to the Metropolitan Museum as well.  Background on Walker Evans:  Evans  joined the staff of Time magazine after his work for the FSA,   became an editor at Fortune, where he stayed till the early 60’s, when he became a professor at the Yale University School of Art, where he taught until his death in 1975.    He is generally acknowledged as America’s finest documentary photographer of the twentieth century, and in his career attempted to show both the beauty of his subjects and the horror of the social conditions in which they lived. During the Depression, from 1935 to 1937, Evans took part in the most extensive photographic project ever carried out in the United States–the pictorial survey of the Farm Security Administration.

Sherrie Levine, Untitled (after Walker Evans:2) 1981.

Walker Evans was also known for photographing images of shop windows, architecture and items which portrayed the resourcefulness of depression-era Americans, who did not take up the grant system the government offered as part of the project.   The FSA in this period,  created a huge historical archive, by the time the project was finished, FSA photographers had taken over 250,000 photographs. All the photographers were funded by the government and therefore all photos were and remain in the public domain – neither the photographers nor their subjects received royalties.  These photos appeared in magazines such as Fortune, Look and Life, making it almost impossible for any American to deny the devastating impact of the Great Depression.  I did find evidence in my reading of people objecting to their photos being made public during that time. . It is clear that one needs to understand the history in order to explore possible interpretations in terms of difference.

Interesting information I found whilst reading on the topic was on of the other photographers in this project,  Langes’ account: “I saw and approached the hungry and desperate mother, as if drawn by a magnet. I do not remember how I explained my presence or my camera to her, but I do remember she asked me no questions. I made five exposures, working closer and closer from the same direction. I did not ask her name or her history. She told me her age, that she was thirty-two. She said that they had been living on frozen vegetables from the surrounding fields, and birds that the children killed. She had just sold the tires from her car to buy food. There she sat in that lean-to tent with her children huddled around her, and seemed to know that my pictures might help her, and so she helped me. There was a sort of equality about it. (Lange, “The Assignment I’ll Never Forget: Migrant Mother,” Popular Photography, February 1960) Below is some of her work,  the title of the first image is ‘Migrant Mother’.

Let Us Now Praise Famous Men,  documented the lives of sharecroppers in the South during the Great Depression in photos as well as narratives. In 1990, Dale Maharidge and Michael Williamson published a follow-up volume to Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, entitled, And Their Children After Them.  Here the authors/photographers were going back and revisiting the same families Agee and Walker had documented. They won the Pulitzer Prize for this publication.  I found a video made by Maharidge on Facebook which he put together in 2015 to mark the 30th anniversary of beginning their project, after hearing about the death of James Agee.  Unfortunately I cannot share it on my blog, but will put the link here.   ( All the photographers chosen for the program were gifted artists( Susan Sontag calls them ‘immensely gifted members’ in On Photography)  in that they were be able to capture expression on their subject’s face so this it would support their own notions about poverty to fall within the scope of their commission – one almost sense the possibility of  didacticism, exploitation and tension between commerce and truth, and art and truth. I made this remark in hindsight of my reading of Susan Sontag  on how a photograph can be treated as a ‘narrowly selective transparency (1977 : 60) In further research on Walker Evans on the website of the Metropolitan Museum I read that “he worked with little concern for the ideological agenda or the suggested itineraries and instead answered a personal need to distill the essence of American life from the simple and the ordinary.”……”From their first appearance in magazines and books in the late 1930s, these direct, iconic images entered the public’s collective consciousness and are now deeply embedded in the nation’s shared visual history of the Depression.”  Douglas R Nickel in his article(1992) describes background into Evans’s links with MOMA and the retrospective of his work and published catalogue during 1938.  I read in this the undertones of the museum using the artist for the way it was portraying a part of history and photography.  The difference would lie in  Levine referring to this.

Left: Walker Evans, Alabama Tenant Farmer Wife, Allie May Burroughs 1936, gelatin silver print, 20.9 x 14.4 cm, Metropolitan Museum of Art;
Right: Sherrie Levine, Untitled,After Walker Evans //4 , 1981 gelatin silver print, 12.8 x 9.8 cm, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Levine (born 1947) is a photographer and  multimedia artist.  It is important to view above work in the context of art history, as the connections with the work of  Walker Evans and photography as art, is necessary to understand her appropriation.  On the Britannica website the following is written about Levine:  “Her appropriations are conceptual gestures that question the Modernist myths of originality and authenticity. She held that the loss of authenticity in art was a result of the ubiquitous mediated signs that defined contemporary reality and that it was impossible to create anything new. ”  Levine has developed her appropriation style over the years to add artworks as well as her own art work and sculptures – not just photography as her method and medium of work. I found very little personal information on this artist. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York  says the following on their website about the artist;  “Levine’s bold appropriation of Walker’s world-famous images, familiar to generations since their publication in 1941’s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, became “a landmark of postmodernism, both praised and attacked as a feminist hijacking of patriarchal authority, a critique of the commodification of art, and an elegy on the death of modernism” (online accessed on 29 April 2019).

The comments  below were published on the website of Artnet and are the printed words of Sherrie Levine. I will  in my discussion attempt do deal with these with regards to difference.

“It is something that artists do all the time unconsciously, working in the style of someone they consider a great master. I just wanted to make that relationship literal.”

“My work has always been very self-consciously about fetishism.”

“I try to make art which celebrates doubt and uncertainty. Which provokes answers but doesn’t give them. Which withholds absolute meaning by incorporating parasite meanings. Which suspends meaning while perpetually dispatching you toward interpretation, urging you beyond dogmatism, beyond doctrine, beyond ideology, beyond authority.”

“I wanted to make pictures that contradicted themselves. I wanted to put one picture on top of another so that there were times when both pictures disappear and other times when they were both manifest. That vibration is basically what the work was about for me- that space in the middle where there is no picture, rather an emptiness, an oblivion.”
“I try to make art which celebrates doubt and uncertainty. Which provokes answers but doesn’t give them. Which withholds absolute meaning by incorporating parasite meanings. Which suspends meaning while perpetually dispatching you toward interpretation, urging you beyond dogmatism, beyond doctrine, beyond ideology, beyond authority.”

“Originality was always something I was thinking about, but there’s also the idea of ownership and property…It’s not that I’m trying to deny that people own things. That isn’t even the point. The point is that people want to own things, which is more interesting to me. What does it mean to own something, and stranger still, what does it mean to own an image?


Difference as a critique on Modernism

In my readings on Sherrie Levine I found an interesting article in a blog, (Zimmerman:2009) he refers to Robert Demachy who, in 1907, wrote an essay which was basically  an attack on Photorealist photography – an artist used other materials in the developing process of photo making to change his original shot.    Zimmerman makes this a study of difference and similarities in looking at Levine’s work, years later.  It seems Demachy was pushing for art, ‘straight photography’ which was made by and developed by man. It is almost as if Demachy saw the simulacrum rising and him calling it out as a fake and a copy.  His explanation for his belief  is told through a scenario of an artist and a terrible amateur, both attempting to make photographs of the same sort of scene ( reminds me of J Rushin and the innocent eye?)  – in short he calls the amateur a plagiarist – clearly a picture of  the artist having the visual training,  artistic nature , even more, the artist having the status of  the genius, the master….  It focus on authorship and authenticity – not very different from work of Sherrie Levine, in After Walker Evans. Peter Zimmerman concludes his blog with remarks about allowing for the photograph to be meaningless, a technical reproduction of a moment in time.  Here is and idea of detaching from identity.  Zimmerman concludes with last words –  so Deleuzian:  …”meaning is not only permissible but also possible.  Through absence, presence.”   I see the detachment from the self/identity and using a field of difference.

Sherrie Levine’s works have been understood as a commentary on the death of Modernism and its ideals, notions of artistic originality, the authenticity and autonomy of the art object and its status as a commodity. (Museum of Modern Art 2010) Her works of dead artists can also be seen as difference in the fact that time continuously moves and they ‘ceased’ to be the authors and great masters, although in time by reproductions ( repetition) their work have stayed in the market, without them having any role in it – ownership.  It also adds to Duchamp’s assertion that all art is a product of things that have come before. She challenges our ideas of originality , that originality in the sense that traditionally the artwork was seen as the creation of the ‘genius artist’, rather than a re-working, re-interpretation of previous work which is what the history of art is: each artist building on what has been done before.  She  also draws attention to the diminished possibilities for originality in our image-saturated world.

Originality was always something I was thinking about, but there’s also the idea of ownership and property… It’s not that I’m trying to deny that people own things. That isn’t even the point. The point is that people want to own things, which is more interesting to me. What does it mean to own something, and stranger still, what does it mean to own an image?’

Walker Evans can also be seen as a Modernist,  his work is ‘signs’ of American realism and evidence of the historical happening of the Great Depression. If one adds the writings by James Agee (1977:108) Sontag sees the moralist and social concerned writer extending the meaning, almost making the photograph speak. Amercan art historian, Thomas Crow stated that appropriation became possible by the fact that ‘the authority of art as a category’ had ceased to be a matter of Modernist assumptions. The ‘mimesis of already existing signs’ became a confident field where society defines what is art or not. (Archer, 2012:164-5). In that respect the ‘original’ photograph of Walker is nothing else than another sign.  I do think that in this difference Levine makes her photo reconstruct how we view these signs.  E Sussman (2009:92  ) states that Levine’s  work “….deconstructed these pictures to reveal their power as signs in the construction of social meaning.” Question come to the mind: did Evans have the right to do this? Did he  not misuse his “artistic licence” to publish this book;he exposed so much more, than the original idea to gather information.  Susan Sontag writes about the epigraph for the book of Evans by MOMA where Walt Whitman is quoted, “that sounds the theme of American photography’s most prestigious quest…….Whitman thought he was not abolishing beauty but generalizing it.  So for generations, did the most gifted American photographers, in their polemical pursuit of the trivial and the vulgar.” Here we see a quest for the American people to identify with empathy, heroism and  sentimental humanity as being one – she saw Evans’s photos as ‘leveling up not down’  to these ideas, namely to be ‘literate, authoritative, transcendent.”  (1977:29)

Deleuze was showing how identities through signals/signs became part of the essentiality of a thing/identifying with.  In this case using the photo image as signs as being essential to the work of art.  Deleuze critiqued this reducibility of modernism by setting it within a field of difference, and here we do not have an identity(sign) that is essential – there is more, we do not even know what it could become. I see this  as a post structuralist way of looking at modernity – privileged perspectives are being deconstructed and  space is made for creativity.  And furthermore, from an ideological view I dare to appropriate on the ideas of Sontag (1977: 18)”Though an event has come to mean, precisely, something worth photographing, it is still ideology (in the broadest sense) that determines what constitutes an event.”  The photo images during the years of the depression had an impact on the Americans as to see how ‘good’ the then government were dealing with poor people – propaganda.  The books being printed later, were also benefitting from this assumptions, and time took these photos to the level of art history, being shown in museums as such.

Art History also comes as difference:  Evans became part of the canon of photographic history and that of art history once being written as history.  This history was never neutral or disinterested and thereby found itself within the current situation.  I can understand Levine living in the Reagan era and critiquing  this piece of history from that perspective, just as well as a person today can look at it from a different perspective.  The following statement by Levine : “The world is filled to suffocating.  Man has placed his token on every stone.  Every word, every image, is leased and mortgaged. We know that a picture is but a space in which a variety of images, none of them original, bend and clash.   A picture is a tissue of quotations  drawn from the innumerable centres of culture……….we can only imitate a gesture that is always anterior, never original  ” (Levine,1982 )

Difference through appropriation

When Levine inserted the word “after,” she forced her audience to see both works within the context of the other.  Levine is not interested in copying, this is her work. Although the source is similar, the viewer needs to find the reason this work was created/appropriated – she pushes the viewer to enquire and think.    For Levine  her camera and photography  is the model for her practice as well as the method, and this is done openly.  Here we see the role or function of art  changed by a new (different) way of expression through the artists creative act/her practice – she thought of her creative process different, the work becomes a necessary reflection of this process, Deleuze calls it, ‘blocks of movement-time, ‘paces of growth’, durations of gestation”.  She is not rejecting Walkers work, Deleuze would say,  here is “no duality in this process of actualisation itself” (2017:282

A number of postmodern theorists and artists have questioned whether there is such thing as originality in art; a good example is the work of  Arshile Gorky , called a master of reinvention. ( he even invented his name!) His work focus was to dissolve forms, to create and use deception and concealment –  he could apparently copy any master artists work very well. Below in Waterfall, 1943, one can see an arrow of Miro pointing downwards.  It seems Alfred Barr saw his work before 1943 as derivative, and that this work was his break into a real artist.  I read about a retrospective of Gorky’s work at Philadelphia Art Museum on the internet –  and the following is written: …”paid attention to his long-time ‘apprenticeship’ to other artists.  With regards to difference I see in this  abstract art a focus on process and technique (thinning the paint medium),  art giving way to expression through ‘flow’ – no limits as to where it could go – losing form, but using something that existed before ( the waterfall, the technique and style of other artists).  Gorky’s work in this way shares with the viewer an ambivalent relation with the ideas of originality and expression as a unique or individual act.  Rosenberg was quoted as saying that Gorky’ …” personified the problem of who’s who in a work of art.”  (Oxford Art Journal: 209)

Waterfall 1943 by Arshile Gorky c.1904-1948
Gorky, Waterfall, 1943

Susan Sontag holds that to photograph is “to appropriate the thing photographed” (1977 :3) She explains that this means “putting oneself into a certain relation to the world that feels like knowledge-and, therefore like power.”  a little bit further….” It ‘habituates’ people to  abstract the world into printed words and statements about the world” According to Sontag, then, an act of appropriation is a statement about the world, and if we consider photographs not only as images but also as statements that communicate ideas, then photographers naturally hold positions of power.  Sontag  also discuss a photo being treated like a trace, like a footprint or a death mask as well as to furnish evidence.  I see all of these attributes in this photo and exhibition of Levine. She made a career out of appropriating renowned works of art, often by making new versions of them and placing them in different contexts. In Fouccault’s  statements on difference,  I see her  using ‘exposure to experience’ in her art practice.

From a post structuralist view Sherrie Levine questions as well as reposition issues around originality in artistic practice as well as authorship.   She confronted issues surrounding postmodernist appropriation.  These ideas engages critically with  art history.  In her deliberate choice to appropriate the work of a prominent male photographer, she makes the work even more dense –  she deconstructed the modernist myths of originality, hegemonic patriarchy by  the myth of the white male artist role. I  think though difference she questions – the male superior role in society, and identity with representation and that which is original,  false and true, also called the ‘myth’ by Deleuze.  This was very much the institutional framework which she as a female artist found herself during that period in the late 70’s and early 80’s – the newly presidency of Ronald Reagan in the USA.  By then the white male artist was a revival of a myth by the particular Republican party politics.   Through this process she indicated layers of meaning  to understand and explore, to look beyond appearances. This I understand as actualising in difference – she shows a virtual field of intensities that is giving rise through her art practice of appropriation.   This then also placed her work as a post-modern assertion which states that one could re photograph an image and create something new in the process, which critiques the modernist notion of originality.  The authentic experience lies in the reproduction, which was most probably also very intuitive. 

She hides nothing about her process and  knowingly adds  her camera as another element of distancing. A mechanical reproduction comes into the forefront and the hand of the artist is relegated to another secondary role, it does not create the image itself.  The creative process is not the artist at first, it the the method of art that brings about the creation. The difference is if one did not know that she was appropriating, (did not have something to compare her work with and a work seen appropriated within its own history and context), this could be seen as a photo of a poor woman.

In this situation I see an artist making a statement about art, challenging the reality of mental objects as reproduction in art and through her own art process of appropriation presents a simulacrum.  I also sense the theme of Deleuze’s critiques on identity  and that difference challenge this way of thinking – a photographer is not ‘present’ in his/her work, these works of Levine almost makes her invisible – it did not come from identity.  In fact, the simulacrum is “built upon a disparity or upon a difference”  (2015: 267) and that it places in question ” the very notions of copy and model” (2015:266)   Copies imitate the original, a simulacrum is a copy with no original.  Levine’s representation  seems to refer to a real model although it is only simulating this reference.

It is interesting to note that the Picture artist  were also criticising the “properties with which art photography had carved a space for itself precisely as a modernist art form (1987:226), as well as making it  theoretically sophisticated by bringing in feminism.

By publishing it in a book Evans turned the image into an experience with whom the American psyche could identify a part of their history   -I ask myself when I look at the picture – is it the stare of the woman that touches me?  Why does the gaze touch me?  What is in the gaze that touches me? Embarrassment, shame, backwardness, poverty, exposed as in feeling of nakedness?    Could Levine indicate as women artist that she knows that the woman in the picture  knows she has already been seen as a stereotype, before the photo? This is difference as she is asking the viewer to see outside, behind or under what is presented.   The idea of spectacle/spectating women experience as the ‘other’, or ‘object’ or  ‘excluded’ in Deleuze and Guattari’s words, ‘body without organs’  in situations where men and the powerful  are the privileged?

I also read that Levine’s appropriation opens her work up  to be understood as a feminist strategy: values such as expressiveness, originality and creativity, traditionally ascribed to the singular vision of male artists, as well as authorship and originality are deconstructed.  Clearly this upset the ‘foundation stones ( authorship, originality, subjective expression) on which the integrity, value and supposed autonomy of the work of art are presumed to rest” – opinion of Abigail Solomon-Godeau ( 1999:227) Postmodernist photographers like Levine rejected the idea that photographs could offer insight into reality;  authenticity has never existed, and all art—including photographs—never depict reality but only an idea of reality. With regards to Deleuze, Levine is questioning conventional notions of originality and the glorification of authenticity, artistic mastery. She also challenges authorship and tested what is permissible creatively and legally.   She suggests that pictures never reflect the authentic reality, but that composition, choice of subject, lightning, etc., are all determined by a cultural discourse that is owned by nobody.

What I also found interesting was a comment of Sherrie Levine about hanging her work together with the works she appropriates, she  prefers her own work in a gallery.  According to Abigail Solomon-Godeau (1999:232), displaying the works together,  reduces the difference to sameness.  Deleuze asks us to see a space between, as that is what difference constitutes – it belongs to neither of the works.  For Levine the importance was that the artwork discloses a possibility of critical practice. ( interesting reaction in this regard is in the article by Abigail Solomon-Godeau ( 1999: 230 – 240) These practices showed the following characteristics according so Solomon-Godeau:

  • “….positioned themselves wholly within the parameters of high-art institutions
  • Its instrumentality is a consequence of its engagement with dominant (aesthetic) discourses  whose constituent terms and hidden agendas are then made visible as prerequisites for analysis and critique.
  • As circumstances change, so too does the position of the artwork alter.”
  • it is important to distinguish between those practices that elucidate, engage with, or even contest their institutional frame, and those that suspend or defer their institutional critique in the belief that such critique is already implied within the terms of their focus on the politics of representation.

I also want to use, ‘with cause and little licence, that there is, through the repeat of  an original, so much that unfold, that it could be seen in Deleuze’s view as an ongoing ‘multiplicity’ of new problems and solutions. The following statement is made about Levine and is the reason for this prior opinion: “Levine prefers to view her work as a regenerative act of collaboration, transforming the considered extraordinary masterpiece into something organic and continually renewable. In the following decades after her first 1981 exhibition, her practices broadened materially to the technique of casting with metal and glass, but also painting, printing, paper-making, and installation art. ” (Biography of S Levine as downloaded from the website of the International Centre of Photography on 1May 2019)  One can also see this theme becoming current with reference to the effects of Reagan’s politics at that time when she exhibited, and currently in Trump’s politics – the lower classes of American society, as the middle classes are being destructed by tax cuts for the sake of the rich and powerful.  They state further: “Levine’s works from this series tell the story of our perpetually dashed hopes to create meaning, the inability to recapture the past, and our own lost illusions.”

Concluding thoughts:

My thoughts started around the theme of the photographs and how Levine could take indifference and move it to difference – by actualising (using her creative power) in  a real/relevant situation,  and presenting and questioning feminism, singularity of views with regards to male artists and societal roles which are unequal due to ” the politician who is above all concerned to deny that which ‘differs’, so as to conserve or prolong an established historical order” (2017:67)  A claim of dominance and stereotypes was brought into view, not as a statement, but something under questioning – as I read about her further work, and I think I understand that her own creative processes are based on seeking, questioning – it leads to her own creativeness.

For me Levine also overturned orders and representation. She used her awareness and one could say, to use the words of Deleuze, ‘ an active force’  (sense) without identity was doing what is was doing, following its own path to take you to more than what you think there was – behind it.   Deleuze (2017:67) says ” Something in the world forces us to think.  This something is an object not of recognition but of a fundamental encounter. What is encountered may be Socrates, a temple or a demon.  It may be grasped in a range of affective tones: wonder, love, hatred, suffering.”

I think Levine created compelling questions through her work on authorship and originality.  Her work stayed interesting and worth talking about – I think this is how Deleuze would see difference actualising itself – Levine created new possibilities for the work of art. We live in different environments, changing constantly, but we need to take cognisance that this is part of how we view the world – it shapes our views, and therefore critical thinking is so much more important.    Levine questioned the idea of ‘being owned’ in above mentioned work, and this brought to rise the existence of appropriation – it has always been there as a difference to representation.

I did not read much about the critique, Craig Owens’s views of Sherrie Levine, but the following ideas from a blogger,  was very interesting:  “If we accept After Walker Evans as a work of “complex genealogy” instead of copyright infringement, we must as the question: What are the virtues of the work? What is Levine attempting to communicate in her act of appropriation? In his 1994 book Beyond Recognition: Representation Power and Culture, art critic and journalist Craig Owens talks of Levine assuming multiple roles in the After Walker Evans show. Owens states that “Levine had assumed the functions of the dealer, the curator, the critic – everything but the creative artist” .  In this sense, Levine is acting outside the realm of the traditional artist. Her act of appropriation is intertwined with curatorial, critical, and even economic statements about Evan’s original work.”I am now at a place where it think that in order for me to come to this understanding in Levine’s work, the work  ‘needs the original’ to become meaningful in terms of the critiques, as for me this is where difference actualise itself in appropriation: her work now creates fields of problems.


Deleuze, Gilles 2017, Difference and Repetition, Bloomsbury Publishing

Evans David, 2009  Appropriation: Documents of Contemporary Art. Whitechapel Gallery and the MIT press 2009           (online  pdf publication accessed  a on

Evans, Jessica and Hall, Stuart, 1999 Visual Culture: a reader, Chapter 15, Living with contradictions: Critical practices in the age of supply-side aesthetics, Abigail Solomon-Godeau.  Sage Publications Inc, London.

Sontag, Susan, 1977, On Photography, Penquin, Kindle edition.

Solomon-Godeau, Abigail, 1987.   Living with contradictions: critical practices in the age of supply-side aesthetics in Visual Culture: a reader, edited by Jessica Evans and Stuart Hall p224 -240, Sage Publications 1999

Singerman, Howard. “Sherrie Levine’s Art History.” October, vol. 101, 2002, pp. 97–121. JSTOR, (downloaded on 2 May 2019)

Library of Congress website:  Research Guide, accessed on 1 May 2019

Miscable George Appropriation and Critical Thinking,  blog on WordPress – a magazine for exemplary freshman writing

Nickel, Douglas R. “‘American Photographs’ Revisited.” American Art, vol. 6, no. 2, 1992, pp. 79–97. JSTOR, (downloaded on 6 May 2019)

Owens Craig, The Discourse of Others: Feminists and Postmodernism, online PDF published by Columbia Education (p 57 – 82)

Owens Craig, 1994  Beyond Recognition: Representation Power and Culture.  University of California Press, Berkley

Robbins Christa Noel , Harold Rosenberg on the Character of Action, Oxfort Art Journal, Volume 35, Issue 2.  Downloaded as a pdf on May 6 2019.

H. Steinbach, as quoted in “Flash Art Panel. From Criticism to Complicity”, in (1986) 129
Flash Art, 46

Wentz John, Appropriation versus Influence  part of a Podcast by  (podcast accessed on 5 May 2019)

Zimmerman, Peter, February 2, 2009, Robert Demachy vs Sherrie Levine blog peterandjoan.blogs,

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