'Copycat' at SF State Fine Arts Gallery: 'A Superbly Inquisitive Exhibition'

Friday, October 11, 2019
Image of woman from Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times and image of contemporary woman mimicking the film
Still from Postmodern Times by Michael Mandiberg. 2016 – 2018. 87 minutes.
SQUARE CYLINDER -- When Marcel Duchamp attempted to display a urinal signed R. Mutt at New York’s Grand Palace in 1917, he sent a clear message: art is whatever an artist claims it to be. More than a century later, for better or worse, reverberations from that event continue to be felt. “Copycat,” a superbly inquisitive exhibition organized by Kevin Chen, operates in much the same spirit It is a trenchant, humorous, wide-ranging survey of appropriative strategies anchored by established artists (Enrique Chagoya, Koto Ezawa, Stephanie Syjuco, Nina Katchadourian) whose works, set in dialogue with those of other artists, address issues of authenticity, ownership, truth, influence and reproducibility.