Selected by Yuen Fong Ling
Artist of the moment: the work of Jo McGonigal
From the artwork's conception, production, and eventual reception and consumption, the artist Jo McGonigal revels in the problems of these existing states. Her conceptual drawings present a series of 'proposals' suggesting other works can be made, or stem from, the potential of existing works of art. McGonigal questions where the individual exists within the evolution of their own culture. Her recent concerns challenge the authority of Modernism by re-presenting icons, such as Le Corbusier interiors for their 'modern value of solidity' through the act of tracing and hand painting.
The conflict between handmade versus manufactured preoccupies the artist as recent works wrestle with the conformity and non-conformity of existing forms of knowledge; the artists scribbles and paint dots both comply and defy the lines of graph paper and the landscape photograph. Most revealing, are the manipulated gallery exhibition adverts adorning the artist's own name. Employing the same painterly strategy, McGonigal attempts to aspire, reconcile, and potentially denounce the artist working within a system of hierarchy and power. Their poignancy lies in the emotional complexity in which we develop, desire, and destroy the ideals we hold dearly, for they are mere 'proposals' for ourselves, waiting to be realised.
. Loos, Adolf, 'The functional object endures as long as the material from which it is made; its modern value comes from its solidity', Ornament et education, 1924 in Malgré tout, p.289.
. In my attempt to select an artist online, the process itself mirrored the problems of form and the reception of the artwork as seen in McGonigal's practice. As a result, I went to see the artworks in real space, going against form and discovering more. The artist explained the loss of image quality by photographing and digitising the artworks which countered simultaneously, my need to experience the artworks closer. The status of the artwork's inherent and acquired temporality in these states, is a concern both practically and theoretically. The process of being able to 'see' the artworks began a conflict of evolution that suggested McGonigal was not the Artist of the Month, but more significantly, an artist of the moment.
Yuen Fong Ling is an artist based in Manchester, currently undertaking a PhD in Fine Art at the University of Lincoln.
More information on Jo McGonigal
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Yuen Fong Ling's artist profile
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