Ten Extra Commandments

Morten Sjaastad
jan. 2002|Article

A poetics, when it is interesting, is never general. An artist, by taking consequent leaps from one work to another (style in a broad sense), can be interpreted as subject to commands of her own making, without acknowledging them as such. Mari Slaattelid can consider these:

  1. The picture shall stand as the consequence of a distinct act: the painting dealt with in one motion, the photo with red filtered out.
  2. The picture shall show how far a source – the lipstick name, the laboratory slide, the book cover – is pushed, or how short: the childhood photo from the 17th of May.
  3. The content – a fingerprint, a face, a flag – shall strike us as both nature and convention, and the picture pose the question: how much of each?
  4. The picture shall disturb the retina with art history, and repeat the question: How determined by nature, how conventional is the history that disturbs (and is disturbed)?
  5. A picture – with the red removed, or the flag dragged on the ground – shall disrupt another: with red preserved, or flags in pale colors.
  6. An intention must be completely clear, even more so when it is open-ended.
  7. The title shall promise, the work confirm, that the picture speaks. “Garbo talks!”
  8. The picture shall show that painting more than ever before begs for a self-justification.
  9. The justification must involve a discovery.
  10. The discovery must ask us questions.