Copy Shop

It’s about print but it’s not a print:

I think it is fair to say that we all have pivotal moments as artists / makers / printmakers – I’m referring to the liberating ones. For instance when we encounter a process, person or artwork that appears to hold our attention in such a way that it starts to connect previous activities and, or ideas. Yours truly had such a happening after watching the film Copy Shop by Virgil Widrich where my engagement with the predominantly process-led discipline of printmaking became a little clearer. During my MA my initial leaning for wanting to make prints (although I didn’t know this at the time) came from looking at pictures in books and thereafter becoming fascinated by the inherent quality of print as a reproductive medium. Whilst studying, discussions predominantly centred on making as an activity before the difficult ‘why’s — this often led on to conversations about the ‘quality of mark making’ or the ‘relationship with surface tactility’. I quickly became aware that there were definitely two different reasons for making prints.

I’ll do the short story version. What I took from Copy Shop was that it considered both the aesthetic quality of a reproductive process and the inherent nature of print as a sequence / narrative for the work. The beauty of Copy Shop (or at least for me) was that the resulting work did this without having to be realised in the medium of print, yet the ideas in the work have a strong reference to print. This approach (outside of the: discipline looking in, idea) probably influenced later works that I produced such as the painting series Print is Dead and the Roombeek photographs. From a research perspective I also believe Copy Shop is a useful example when discussing the parameters of the discipline.

Anyway thank you Virgil Widrich I’m pleased you made Copy Shop for me to see, think about and copy a little bit.