Artist Research – Berny Tan

Artist Influence, Artist Influences, Studio, Studio 3, Uncategorized

‘After A Lover’s Discourse’, 2014


‘After A Lover’s Discourse’, 2014


‘After A Lover’s Discourse’, 2014


‘Study of Conversational Patterns in Phone Calls to my Grandmother’, 2014


‘Study of Conversational Patterns in Phone Calls to my Grandmother’, 2014

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‘A Visual Guide to References in T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land (1922)’, 2011

Methods of displaying investigations have been the focus of my practice this year, and I am interested in other artists who explore charts, diagrams and sheets as ways of working through and processing information from an investigation. One of the most proficient examples of this contemporary engagement with the ‘aesthetic of administration’ is Berny Tan. Tan uses graphs and charts in order to plot the research collected from her investigations, using colour as a main factor in her organisation of data.

In her works ‘After A Lover’s Discourse‘, Tan studied Roland Barthes’ text A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments, analysing the way in which each chapter referenced specific genres, and making connections to show these reference through thread. Every time a chapter mentioned that specific genre or idea, the string would get wound again, creating heavier weighted lines between the most commonly referenced genres. I am interested in the way the text was analysed to find the commonality of references within the work, therefore reducing somewhat into an idea of an experience of phrases. The way in which Tan has taken an interest in a text, and manipulated this to find some kind of quantifiable science from within, is something I find connected to my practice, and therefore her rigid, yet playful method of display is something I would like to explore within my practice. The boring, unimpressive nature of historical conceptual art is revolutionised through the use of colour and sculptural form, giving an investigation the chance to enter into artistic objecthood.



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