Amateur / Failure


Digital Video


“So how can we come to understand the two men’s works in the era of irony? Where do we establish an anchor in which to parallel their relationships to failure and amateurism? Can one identify an origin? Perhaps origin as intentionality provides an entry point. In a lot of artworks, successive interpretations and readings can attempt to sabotage and topple meaning. Intention is at the heart of the amateur and failurist alike. At worst this intention can become an act of negation, where an accomplished failure is no longer vulnerable to the fall. The fall is constructed insofar as being a cynical exercise. In certain ways we find a similar strategy for the amateur, that of becoming skilled in the mimicry of amateurism. The difference it would seem to me is in the degree of transparency executed by the artist in relation to both these modes of working. How one understands what the failure is, is directly informed by the artist’s parameters. As audience we judge the acceptability of the failure, all of which is tacitly embedded within the construction of the amateur persona.”


A video lecture presented at the Whitechapel Art Gallery as part of ARTSCHOOL/UK phase 2. The edited transcript was published alongside other contributions in PROSPECTUS (eds) Sissu Tarku and John Reardon.


Whitechapel Gallery

Installation view: ‘ARTSCHOOL/UK II’, Whitechapel Gallery. 2010

Amateur / Failure

Installation view: ‘Film Script Dance Manual Walking Tour’, ACC Galerie. 2012

Amateur / Failure

Installation view: ‘On Dilettantism’, Halle 14. 2012