Drawing on the past

Turk Frottage 2009

Gavin Turk, Frottage, 2009

Though he’s made a pretty wide range of work in between, I was interested to find that my altogether half-arsed research for the previous post threw up an image of a recent work I didn’t know and whose existence surprised me. Frottage, made in 2009, close to two decades after Cave, is a rubbing of that same blue plaque. I’m guessing of course (yes, yes, I know, research is good but sometimes the path of least resistance is just so much more appealing) but I rather suspect this is a work made in order to use the title and the amusement to be gained from using a term that is technically correct in art terms but which also has sexual connotations. And why not?

Turk Relic Cave 1991

Relic (Cave), 1991

This isn’t the first time the plaque has been used in contexts other than Cave. Later in 1991, Turk encased the plaque in a vitrine giving a new status to something that could otherwise only work as a site specific installation as well as directly referencing Joseph Beuys, whose use of vitrines of this kind was extensive. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Turk has gone on to reference Beuys in other works over the years but that would be for another post at another time. Possibly.

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