Antagonistics, 2013
Commonwealth & Council

In Antagonistics, the ethical legacy of Pictures Generation artists is interrogated through staged actions in which décollaged portraits of notorious bankers are stolen from an artist's studio and repurposed. The works were purportedly removed in 2007 from the studio of Gustavo Raynal, a fictional Latin American conceptual artist whose identity Chang has been cohabiting over seven years in publications, exhibitions, radio appearances, and on the web. The alleged theft by one artist of another artist’s work examines how far appropriation can go before authorship becomes intellectual robbery. The artifice of Raynal's fictional identity serves as context for narrative strategies, in which efforts to reconcile the contradictory impulses of canonization and institutional critique collapse under the weight of postmodern dogma.

Antagonistics also features Confronting Raynal, a film that further blurs the line between theatre and reality. In the film, Chang plays the role of a curator and expert of Raynal's oeuvre, while a former Argentine student radical plays Raynal. Entirely scripted and staged for a live audience, the film documents a panel discussion between the artist and curator on the relationship between economic crisis, insurgent violence, and cultural production. Through substantive, often hostile exchanges on these issues, the actors and the audience bring previously un-articulated positions to life.  A version of reality is presented through an artifice of fiction, inciting political imagination through the involuntary suspension of disbelief.

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