Drawing on layered themes of reproduction, questions of authorship and authenticity, Rob and Nick Carter’s witty Chinese Whispers exhibition at The Fine Art Society certainly draws our attention to image perception between east and west. Exploring these common but ever so relevant themes, the Carters have played on the preoccupation in the West with authenticity by using American artist Andy Warhol’s work as the starting point for their artistic discussion while drawing attention to the arguably inferior, but profitable, practice of reproduction of art in the East. Production and reproduction are themes interwoven with each when considering art, their differences overlap with similarities and meanings often blur. Damien Hirst’s work quickly springs to mind.
The process of this conceptual body of work started with Warhol’s work being sent to art factories in Southern China with instructions to produce the best copy they can. This piece was then passed onto the next copy artist and repeated 30 times. Rob and Nick Carter have reinvented the production line, with the reproduction line. Through the many repetitive stages they’ve questioned our expectations through trains of process.
The “original” work – from an artist who was more than comfortable with his relationship between art and reproduction – has itself been parodied whilst the technique of production and reproduction has been repacked for our curiosity and pleasure. Seeing the canvases up-close is a must for this show, allowing the small intricate differences between the various different stages of repetition and “mistake” even more pronounced.
by Stephanie Clair
Chinese Whispers is open now until January 29 at The Fine Art Society