Tate Triennial 2006, New British Art

For what seems clear is that the approaches to reference,appropriation and revision that informed twentieth century art are now being constructively applied to the present-day situation in a way that is as distinct from pastiche or tribute as it is from collage and montage and even from postmodernist quotation. The artists in this exhibition are not merely wallowing in a withdrawal into the realm of the personal, the subjective and the retro-loving. Nor are they indulging in a collective show of earnestness that does little more than pay lip-service to issues surrounding today's chaotic and global political climate. Influenced by the transformation of society and daily life in general, they are offering new and different modes for serious social and political engagement.

Since these new strategies of repetition weave a fabric in which the artform can no longer be easily distinguished from reality nor filtered communication differentiated from authenticity, artistic approaches that critique the difference between media, reality and systems of reference may now be obsolete. Hence, in dealing with the world's many and diverse interfaces, artists are deploying repetition as a tool, rather than as a finished product. what is undergoing revision here is not the object itself, but the way in which it is interpreted - with all the concomitant ideal, utopias and meanings.


Beatrix Ruf, Revised Narrations, Tate Triennal 2006: New British Art, Tate Publishing, 2006, p.13.