Me, Myself And Rauschenberg

Laura Kugel
Oct 19, 2014 10:34PM

An idea reoccurs time after time in my mind while approaching this competition: freedom. My understanding of Rauschenberg's artistic voyage is that he was sailing towards increasing freedom: from artistic norms, from conceptual definitions, from characterisations of an artist's role. But also freedom for his audience. By blending material, techniques, subjects, references, Rauschenberg cries out to me as an individual, allowing me to approach his works in a unique way: my way.

This curated selection of artworks should therefore be seen as tribute to this artist. And beyond a tribute, also a way to relate his endeavour to the our the great facilitator of freedom: the Internet. This entry is better seen as an investigation into what it means to produce an online exhibition. Curatorial practice must adapt each project to the works available, but also to the space in which the exhibition will take place. This is where an online exhibition gets complicated because space is abstracted, and the availability of works is now infinite, forcing you to reconsider your preconceived methods and decide on new points of references.

That is why, for this project, I have chosen what appeared to me as being the most obvious point of reference for an online exhibition: the individual. Just like many museum websites already allow you to create your own 'gallery', I decided to make Rauschenberg the heart of my gallery. First choosing five artworks, that I have gained a very personal relationship with, each from art institutions I have interacted with solely through using the Internet, I then found five of Rauschenberg's works that I felt spoke to those I selected. 

What is the point, you might ask? It is all about freedom. This experiment freed me from my preconceptions of Rauschenberg's work by contrasting it with my personal favourites. But this freedom also extends to the artist himself, for it creates new patterns of analysis, new possible contrasts, and ultimately new ways to look at Rauschenberg, both his work and his philosophy. In a sense, his work is more alive on the Internet, where it can be reinterpreted and rediscovered eternally, than between the walls of a museum.

This online exhibition is not so much about the curated but the curating; through which I’ve created an experience that is both highly personal and unique for other viewers. I have intentionally not written anything about why I paired up certain artworks, maintaining a true freedom of interpretation that I think might have made Rauschenberg smile. Just like when confronted with Rauschenberg’s work, a number of questions arise: is it the shape of subject, the choice of colours, the composition? It's up to you to decide.


Laura Kugel