Staring at art from the Tate's collection and thinking about it

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Self-Portrait as Jealous Tiger - Dieter Roth

Dieter Roth, Self-Portrait as Jealous Tiger, 1973, screenprint on paper, 578 x 686 mm, Tate.

Dieter Roth was a Swiss artist associated with Fluxus and Arte Povera, whose materials included rotting foodstuffs, coffee stains and rabbit shit.  True to form, the Tate bought some of his screenprints.  I don't know that much about him or his ideas, but I'm guessing that the absurdity of having a self-portrait as a selfish tiger in which no tiger can be seen here is meant to playfully challenge the serious work-based ideology of capitalism, ultimately leading to a revolution and the spontaneous rebirth of society as a joyful utopia of perpetual amusement.  That's generally how this sort of thing turns out.  Anyway, I couldn't find a way into this piece, or feel that compelled to, but on the plus side I have quit my job and covered my local branch of TSB in silly putty.

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