In his 2006 essay ‘PRINTMAKING: A COLONY OF THE ARTS’, Luis Camnitzer, a renowned conceptual artist with a printmaking background, analysed problems of printmakers and reflected on his own practice. ‘I was using a technical discipline to define myself and this was conceptually wrong.’…‘I am trapped in that technical fundamentalism so typical of printmakers. A great mixture of this—a colonial mentality laced with fundamentalism.’
It has long been a challenge for printmakers to decolonise printmaking. At the same time, this colonial mindset of printmakers has been subject to change from the outside due to technological and conceptual changes in reproduction in the digital age. It is no longer necessarily a literal transfer by physical contact, but a conceptual translation and a technology of mediation. The printmaker mediates between objective and subjective states, and they are located outside of the system. In other words, printmakers are not citizens of a single medium but residents, immigrants, or tourists. The position and identity of the printmaker and the immigrant are strikingly similar. Printmaking has a multilayered nature and can be conceived as a cognitive mode that crosses regions. The printmaker stands behind the plate and sees their work from that position. Because of its nature not being face-to-face, printmaking has a blind spot in its core process.
This group exhibition consists of works by artists who have experienced living overseas and the challenge of adapting to a new place. Each work adapts the essential function of the print in various ways that are beyond the artist’s control during the production process. These works will present, as one of the possibilities of printmaking, the crossing of boundaries from behind—an act which becomes possible solely when the actor is in the position of ‘only being able to see from behind.’