Shadows and the other signs of life
Shadows in the photographs by Warhol seem to both emphasise the three-dimensionality of ‘life’ (real) objects and point to their actual (physical) existence rather than to present an illusion through representation.
In a similar manner, hand prints (or prints of other body elements) are both signatures and proofs of one’s being and one could say are the most basic of all artistic gestures. For the primaeval man, who tracked his prey from its trail, these marks embossed in the ground were precisely a proof that the animals WERE there. For this reason, perhaps, the earliest paintings were devoted to hunting; they also became the man’s trace, a proof of his existence (both to himself and to the posterity).
Rabbit Josephine is a living work of art which has functioned within the artist’s practice since 2016. Paw prints of Josephine are precisely that: a trace of her existence both as a living rabbit, and a living work of art. Due to their blue colour, they might remind of Klein’s Antropometries, but they are crucially different to these prints of ‘dance macabre’, whose participants appear deprived of will whatsoever. The point is precisely this, the rabbit is alive and has its own will as such, this will represents contingency of history. As a work of art, once it is gone it can only remain as part of art history. These works are on one hand, highly aesthecised paintings, made somewhat by the artist, and somewhat by his willful work of art, and on the other hand, are what remains of THE work, a proof of it being there and then being no more. A shadow of a readymade, fixed but for a moment.
Michal Martychowiec, 2017