SPRING 2018

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The given image, when placed into the context of contemporary art, is automatically conceived as an abstract artwork. However, there is an explanation for it: “spontaneous drawing by a girl of 3 years 9 months. Artificially fed since birth. Placed from institution into foster home at the age of 1 month”. It is written at the bottom of the canvas that this is a page from the book «Children’s Drawings. Diagnostics and Interpretations» by the children diseases researcher John Dileo. The illustration refers to a passage from the book which explains about a child’s first attempt to understand the world - the picture is a way of streamlining the information. Starting from the age of 3 years old, the vestibular apparatus is mature enough to learn how to draw a circle, becoming the main motif. When drawing, a child doesn’t try to copy the way an object looks exactly but draws the main idea, the inner model. Komar and Melamid use the method of appropriation, which is known since the time of Marcel Duchamp, when one takes a book page from its initial context and signs it with his name. This gesture can point to ideas about human developmental peculiarities or to the circle as a prototype of things, and the irony regarding abstraction, as people often say that «any child is able to draw the same». The authenticity was confirmed with sarcasm by Alexander Melamid: «Really, I signed it. Actually, I don’t remember this work. It was a period of time when I signed any type of bullshit, which is still going on today. If you have some bullshit that you want to send me, I’ll sign it with pleasure. By the way, just ask people you know or strangers to send me some bullshit to sign». V

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