Thursday, 3 May 2012

Deliberate Mistake

Looking through some work from three years ago reawakened my interest in the deliberate mistake. I’ve long thought that the deliberate mistake is a way of approaching art that makes me think about how I think. Mr & Mrs Walker have moved (Anne Eggebert and myself, 1998), for example, where we moved into Kettles Yard, as it were pretending that we didn’t know it was a museum, or laying aside the group knowledge that this is what it is. Or feeling the surface of the painting in Touch (2000), which broke through a barrier of comfort, blurring the line between representation and real – in this case the group portrait of the Lee family painted by Joseph Highmore in the eighteenth century (the painting is in Wolverhampton City Art Gallery.

The obvious point about the deliberate mistake is that it is instantly recognisable, and highlights the correctness of the correct. But I am becoming more interested in the mistake, and the possibilities that it opens up; the fact that it asks why, and that there may be no simple answer.

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