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landmark work

What is your landmark work of art?

I had to look up who the artist Chris Burden was this week. There was a reference to him by an artist quite recently, in the form of a drawing. I had never heard of him before. Looking him up on the Internet took me to the New York Times where a very short documentary on Chris Burden (1946 -2015) informed me about "Shoot", a performance piece where Burden was shot in his arm. For Art's sake. "Shoot", it is said, became Burden's landmark work.

This really got me thinking (about the thinking) around what a landmark work of art is? Is it what eventually defines you as an artist? Is it that one, outstanding piece of art that collectors - such as MoMa and the Whitney - have sought to purchase, as in the case of Burden's 1971 footage? Is a landmark work that which creates shock, is daring, defines new categories / art movements or the like? Does a landmark artwork have to be loud and provocative or in-your-face to make its impact?

What if - my forever inner voice asks - a landmark work was silent, subliminal, invisible? What if it had passed before without as much as being noticed? What if it was like vapour and visible for a mere second? What if it was about listening, deep listening? Where listening is not about anything, but about everything as was John Cage's 4'33" silent composition. This, in my opinion, is a landmark work: a work which is about presence and being present. It is monumental in its silence.

So - my inner voice prods - what is my landmark art piece?

Portrait of myself in Tankwa during 2019 Tankwa Artscape Residency.

Photo credit: #BronwynTrupp

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2020 / Sonya Rademeyer        ©Sonya Rademeyer. All rights reserved.