Frances Stark

Ian F. Svenonius’s “Censorship Now” for the 2017 Whitney Biennial, Spread 1 of 8 (Sincerely)
2017

Not on view

Date
2017

Classification
Paintings

Medium
Acrylic, ink, and oil on canvas

Dimensions
79 × 104 in. (188 × 264.2 cm)

Accession number
2018.109

Credit line
Purchase, with funds from the Painting and Sculpture Committee

Rights and reproductions
© Frances Stark


Audio

  • Whitney Biennial 2017, Spanish

    Frances Stark

    Frances Stark

    0:00

    Frances Stark: Soy Frances Stark.

    Al acercarse a esta obra, se descubre, sobre todo, CENSURA AHORA. Es la frase más molesta e incómoda que puede imaginar un artista, una persona creativa, o cualquiera que visite un museo.

    Narrator: En una pintura, Stark incluyó subrayados rojos y estrellas azules destacadas. Remiten a la bandera estadounidense y a la historia de violencia y opresión que, en ocasiones, se ha llevado a cabo bajo esta bandera.

    Frances Stark: En este pasaje, hay dos elementos particularmente desgarradores, uno es la historia del estado profundo del gobierno del país; el otro es la cuestión de la pertinencia y agencia del artista.

    Los artistas tienen que enfrentar una realidad muy difícil y esa es su complicidad con los mecanismos del poder.

    Al llegar al final del capítulo se expresa con claridad: "El Estado no puede ser el censor. El Estado debe ser censurado". Esto coloca al artista en la posición de un agresor del Estado. No sabemos cómo es eso, pero sabemos que cualquiera que lo intente terminará muerto. Lo que intento decir en respuesta es, ¿de qué manera podré lograr eso? ¿Cómo puedo silenciar a CNN, MSNBC o Fox News? ¿Cómo puedo lograrlo desde mi calidad de artista sola?

    El arte, especialmente la pintura, funciona como instrumento económico. Esa es la manera en que el arte se valúa. Pensé que la mejor plataforma que podía ofrecerle a un héroe alternativo y marginal del mundo de la música era colocarlo en un lienzo gigante estirado. En cierta forma imaginé que podía ofrecerle un lienzo de $9,000 como plataforma para llevarlo como artista estadounidense a la Bienal del Whitney.

  • Whitney Biennial 2017

    Frances Stark

    Frances Stark

    0:00

    Frances Stark: I am Frances Stark.

    So basically, when you approach this work you see CENSORSHIP NOW. It is the most rankling, uncomfortable phrase that you could imagine having to deal with as an artist or a creative person or someone who finds themselves in a museum.

    Narrator: In one painting, Stark has included red paint underlines and blue highlighting stars. These refer to the American flag and the history of violence and oppression that has, at times, been carried out under its banner.

    Frances Stark: In this passage, there are two things that are particularly heartbreaking, and one is the history of the deep state of the United States government, and the other is the question of the relevance and agency of the artist.

    There's a very difficult reality that artists have to face and that is their complicity to the mechanisms of power.

    When you get to the end of the chapter and it's stated very clearly "The state can't be the censor. The state must be censored." This puts the artist in the position as aggressor toward the state. We don't know what that looks like. Well, we know that anybody who tries it ends up dead. What I think I'm trying to say in response, is that in what way am I able to do that? How can I shut down CNN or MSBC or Fox News? How am I to do that as a single artist?

    Art, and especially painting, function as financial instruments. That is how they are valued. I imagined that the best possible soapbox I could give to this underground outsider hero-figure from the music world would be to put it on giant canvas, stretched canvas. In a sense, I imagined that I could offer him $9,000 worth of stretched canvas as a soapbox to bring him in as an American artist into the Whitney Biennial.


Frances Stark
10 works

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