Fragments & Ideas by Benoit Depelteau
In the last issue, the editorial dealt with how far outside of the generally accepted definition of collage we wanted to go in order to discuss it and to compare it to other art forms. It was written to help our readers understand the project’s whole process and, in practical terms, to help artists to determine if their work would be eligible or considered.
Since our reading of the situation suggests that collage has, over the years, been underrepresented on exhibition walls and in review pages, we feel that we need to place it in this general context to understand the situation and work together to allow collage to claim the legitimacy it deserves.
A reader suggested that by insisting on the fuzzy area that overlaps the boundaries of collage, the editorial might have given the false impression that work that clearly met the definition was dull and that it needed to be enhanced by other mediums to be convincing. Indeed, we were surprised by the proportion of mixed media work we received among the works submitted to us. It’s a cold mathematical fact. We conducted extensive research to know and understand contemporary collage’s situation, but we underestimated the number of artists who use collage as a part of a wider practice.
On the other hand, since our pre-issue, we have experienced the fresh ideas of a whole new array of collagists. Their work demonstrates how fragments and ideas can be used to express the most diverse concepts. Some of these artists push the limits further by using collage in combination with other media; while others experiment with how the language can be expanded from within. But one thing is clear: The whole adventure has confirmed our belief that collage, either by itself as an art form or along with other media, shows an exceptional vitality and a significant potential to constantly renew itself and represent our time.
by Jacob Whibley