Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Agus Suwage made a series titled pause/replay for which he drew inspiration from various artists. It is not an interesting question whether this form of appropriation constitutes plagiarism in its legal or moral meaning. Throughout the history of art artists have appropriated each others work. A more interesting question is whether Agus Suwage achieved aesthetically something interesting. In general, I think Agus Suwage's work is great. But with this series I have my doubts, especially for those works of which I know the source. For example the work above. This is a work of Dutch photographer Rineke Dijkstra, and I have seen this work in Rotterdam about ten years ago - a very powerful work. (This series can be seen in Soemardja Art Gallery until 9 November, and in the gallery one can purchase the beautifully designed book that comes with this exhibition.)

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