To End With A Beginning

2019-01-22T09:30:39Z (GMT) by Rachel Elizabeth Newsome

“To End With A Beginning” was a PaR investigation into the work of international artist Gavin Turk in the form of a reflexive response to its core themes and approaches. Critically informed by Baudrillard’s theory of Endgame Capitalism (adapted from the final stage of a chess game when the end becomes a foregone conclusion) alongside concepts relating to modernism, minimalism, postmodernism, pop art and punk, the enquiry aimed to establish how Turk’s work is a comment on the function of art within late consumer capitalism. Reflecting Turk’s interest in Derrida’s theory of deconstruction, the enquiry aimed to investigate how Turk’s art could be explored in the form of a meta-text in two ways. Firstly, as a critical “frame”. Secondly, as a creative response through experimentation with form, structure, language and tone, expanding on and extending Turk’s own playful approach. This enquiry was conducted through formal interview and informal conversations, studio and exhibition visits, researching Turk’s archive of exhibition catalogues and the process of creative writing itself. The resulting meta-text mirrored Turk’s conceptual puzzling in the form of a reflexive narrative puzzle that sought to ask more questions than it answered. Thus, “To End With A Beginning” both elucidates and further problematises Turk’s art in order to shed light on the essential paradoxes at the heart of his work and the themes it addresses. It proposed that Turk’s work can be understood as a form of Endgame Art that evidences a breakdown in meaning while offering uncertainty as a possible approach towards its restoration. Sitting within a constellation of meta-texts consisting of further creative responses to Turk, the output was disseminated through a series of conversations between myself and the artists at Port Eliot Literary Festival, Festival Number 6, The Holburne Museum, Bath and London Metropolitan University CASS Arts.