Duncan of Jordanstone

Eona McCallum Degree Show 2007 Duncan of Jordanstone

McCallum’s show is ultimately a response to her self directed rhetoric, ‘why do I create artwork?’[1] Her noticeably unimaginative fonts, light blue wash and unassuming print outs appear as intellectually challenging as a pre solved puzzle from the back of a box of ‘Ricicles'[2]. McCallum’s ‘pastel stroll’ begins with a nod towards the constant labour of contemporary arts need to ‘geniusify’[3] every relevant/irrelevant stage in the ‘process’ of artistic creation. In ‘I chose S 0510-R90B’, a luminous pink sticker is stuck on a brochure marking her chosen wall paint, thus questioning the validity of ‘process’, and unearthing an apparent disdain to the ‘finished artwork’. Here we uncover McCallum’s true intent: to question the method, and intelligence, of creating contemporary art.

Her simple annotations, anagrams and observations subject the viewer to conjure a narrative of their own. ‘Archie’ and ‘Call mum’ are the respective faux-cryptic adaptations of a sketchbook manufacturing company and McCallum’s surname, and act harmoniously as comments on contemporary artists’ apparent duty to readily consign their concepts high on a throne of perplexing inaccessibility.

The term ‘Attempt’[4] Excerpt from the series ‘Strategies for art-making’ (second in her instructional triptych (from the second triptych in her tri-triptych series)) – is summation of the premeditated naivety, and consequent accessibility, in which McCallum annotates her show.

‘Here’s to the digital age’ demands a rigid presentation, whereas McCallum’s use of scruffy felt pen and a torn edge maintains the quintessential spontaneity of the quote, thus exemplifying her own instructions for art-making. ‘I would like to meet you (posters to be taken away from an exhibition)’ continues this notion whilst ridiculing the free-for-all ethic towards the use of inconsistent media in many contemporary exhibitions. The numerous identical screen-prints piled on the floor from ‘an exhibition’ characterize the detachment she feels from her work.

The conversations we hold with McCallum through her images and texts are a suggestion at where her work may progress, if anywhere. Her three ‘Strategies for art-making’[5] act merely as tools to ensure a ready flow of inspiration form which to create works, whilst questioning the process of creation- both of her own, and that of her contemporaries.

[1] Eona McCallum

[2] Actual product title- ‘Little Bastards’

[3] Not a word

[4] Eona McCallum

[5] Eona McCallum