I made a similar digital collage to this one above earlier this year. Now I'm thinking about how this is kind of like Sturtevant’s ideas of repetition. It also simulates video screens and glitches, mediums that she used in her later work.
Here's week four's research of Elaine Sturtevant...
The first works, Elaine made after her hiatus centered around Keith Haring. Sturtevant’s Haring Tag July 15 1981 seems to wave hi and say “hello, I’m back!” It’s no surprise she chose Haring... he had become a global brand and had almost invited imitation with “repetition, without a camera (or machine) is not repetition” and “I may look like you, but it you take a closer look you will realize that I am nothing like you at all.” “You don’t even know me. You never will.” I imagine Elaine’s Haring piece sort of saying that right back to Keith’s with a 😜
Elaine Sturtevant painting a Frank Stella. It seems each photograph of Elaine is also a repetition/copy/appropriation as there is a very similar photo of Frank Stella.
Elaine often made these sort of split screen studies that combined two or more artists. Unlike other artists who did similar stacked images or collages, hers weren’t meant to be a finished piece or sketches for a larger work. Hers were exercises in thinking... looking at relationships between sources and images.
It’s interesting to look at the artists that Elaine chose. They were her contemporaries and mostly successful but she did seem to have sense for which ones were going to stand the test of time. [On the other hand it’s possible she appropriated many, many more artists who weren’t successful and either destroyed those works or we just don’t know about/recognize them.]
In 1990 Elaine moved from the US to Paris. Many European museums had devoted shows to her work, while in the US, people reacted with irritation or misunderstanding.
In 2000 she began to embrace film and video, advertising and internet-based images, producing work that reflects the fragmented and pervasive nature of our image-saturated culture. As Adrian Searle wrote in the Guardian in 2013, "Sturtevant's most recent work is less about repeating other people's art, or even her own, than it is about the constant repetitiousness of experience in the post-internet age. If Sturtevant hadn't done what she did, someone else would have. Someone, somewhere, is doubtless repeating Sturtevant now. The cycle is endless."