Image Transfer: Pictures in a Remix Culture

Lisa Oppenheim, The Sun is Always Setting Somewhere Else… 2006. Courtesy of the artist and Harris Lieberman Gallery, New York
Sean Dack, Glitch Girl #4, 2008. Courtesy of the artist and Fredric Snitzer Gallery
Sara VanDerBeek Caryatid, 2010. Courtesy of the artist and Altman-Siegel Gallery and Metro Pictures
Erika Vogt, Motor Post Motor Band Disband, 2006-2008. Courtesy the artist and Overduin and Kite
Marlo Pascual, Untitled, 2009
Installation view at Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, Washington
Installation view at Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, Washington
Image Transfer: Pictures in a Remix Culture spotlights evolving attitudes toward the appropriation, recuperation, and repurposing of extant photographic imagery. Artists, as both producers and consumers in today’s vast image economy, freely adopt and adapt materials from myriad sources. Images culled from the Internet, magazines, newspapers, advertisements, television, films, personal and public archives, studio walls, and from other works of art are all fair game. Image Transfer brings together artists who divert commonplace, even ubiquitous, visual materials into new territories of formal and idiomatic expression.

This exhibition proposes that these artists mark the progression of intuitive practices that are thoroughly at ease with today’s hyper-fluid circulation of images. In our digital age of fair use and open source, these attitudes demonstrate how far traditional notions of the authority and primacy of source materials have shifted toward a fluent rethinking of the way we value and interact with images. Image Transfer explores several questions. How are artists using clipped, copied, grabbed, or downloaded images, and what do such artistic positions relate to the viewer vis-à-vis the work? How do such synthesized images operate in visual culture? Do these works critique our media-saturated age or are they only symptomatic of it? What can these processes and these composite images tell us about the state of photography today?

Concentrating on a dozen artists, Image Transfer includes photography, painting, drawing, collage, projection, and installation. Growing out of the legacies of Pop, Conceptual Art, the Pictures Generation, experimental film, and avant-garde design, the exhibiting artists employ tactics of transferring, accumulating, and recombining existing images to construct new images, objects, and situations. Notably the techniques of cut-and-paste, re-photography, double exposure, and other object-oriented studio practices commingle with photocopying, scanning, and the commands of editing software. Artists who work across these multiple platforms reflect a systemic evolution that broadly parallels aspects of DJ culture, television and film production, and the DIY movement. The proliferating phenomena of remixes, mash-ups, montage, and collage (and the technologies that enable them) inform an alternative perspective for contemplating developments in visual art in resonance with wide-ranging cultural trends.


Sara Krajewski

Sara Krajewski is Director of INOVA at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. As Curator at the Henry Art Gallery from 2005-2012 she organized the group exhibitions The Violet Hour (2008) and Viewfinder (2007) as well as solo projects with artists Matthew Buckingham, Walid Raad, Liz Magor, Steven Roden, Kelly Mark, and Santiago Cucullu. Her writing has appeared in Art on Paper, ArtUS, and other publications. Krajewski has held curatorial positions at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art and the Harvard Art Museum.

Touring Schedule

  • Salina Art Center
    Salina, Kansas
    November 9, 2012 - January 20, 2013
  • Newcomb Art Gallery at Tulane University
    New Orleans, Louisiana
    August 15, 2012 - October 15, 2012
  • Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture
    Baltimore, Maryland
    October 6, 2011 - December 10, 2011
  • Richard E. Peeler Art Center, DePauw University
    Greencastle, Indiana
    February 22, 2011 - May 6, 2011
  • Henry Art Gallery
    Seattle, Washington
    October 2, 2010 - January 23, 2011