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UAL Research Online

The Faust Supplement

Francis, Mary Anne (2002) The Faust Supplement. [Art/Design Item]

Type of Research: Art/Design Item
Creators: Francis, Mary Anne

Funded by an AHRB Small Grant, this bookwork addressed the role of a ‘signature style’ in an artist’s practice; a preoccupation of my work since 1992. It queried the assumption that an ‘oeuvre’ should display at least a common thread, preferring the idea of a radically diverse practice, in which, for example no theme or medium prevailed. Specifically, it questioned how the radically diverse oeuvre might best be ‘curated’, given its marginality within contemporary art.

Taking the form of a (spoof) publisher’s catalogue that featured 13 monographs on the multifarious artist M A Faust, ‘The Faust Supplement’ developed my previous addresses to this area. It also sustained a dialogue with other artists working with the heterogeneous oeuvre – e.g. Bob & Roberta Smith, Denise Hawrysio - proposing an advance on their recourse to pseudonyms for different aspects of their practice. In using just one pseudonym – marshalling the artist’s different work together - the ‘Supplement’ avoided the invisibility that threatens multi-pseudonym-critique as their personae are not necessarily perceived as inter-related. Simultaneously, the pseudonym’s sheer obviousness as such presented the multifarious oeuvre as a proposition for discussion – less likely to be dismissed.

Extending the use of the pseudonym for the diverse oeuvre, this work also novelly deployed the form of the ‘anthology’ for its critique. Reversing the terms of engagement of the catalogue – typically, as one form for many authors, such that the catalogue is used for many forms of one author – the piece deployed an ‘interventionist’ approach.

Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Chelsea College of Arts
Date: 1 October 2002
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2009 09:26
Last Modified: 12 Aug 2011 11:43
Item ID: 1051
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1051

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