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Who Wore It Better
May 29, 2013 6:01 PM   Subscribe

Who Wore It Better is an ongoing visual research project presenting associations and common practices in contemporary art.
posted by clearly (31 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite

 
The title of one of the works they pick on seems a pretty good comment on the whole effort: "The term “alike” may attract our attention, but in fact means nothing at all"

Sure, some of these are cases of copying or of an idea that is so banally obvious that neither artist should have done it in the first place: but the premise of a site like this is kinda anti-intellectual and uncharitable. Some of these are cases of homage or allusion; some of them are cases of artists pursuing quite different lines of visual or social inquiry that just happen to intersect at a certain point; some of them are just cases of two people independently arriving at a perfectly valid idea. The same thing could be done for any era and any medium or genre of artistic expression you care to name.
posted by yoink at 6:21 PM on May 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


As I was saying, I like this a lot and it reminds me of Lawrence Weschler's Convergences.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:28 PM on May 29, 2013


the premise of a site like this is kinda anti-intellectual and uncharitable

I think the premise of this site is more like "Hey cool! Ideas can be similar!"
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:29 PM on May 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


Really worthwhile project, as there are lots of reasons for the copy, be it conscious, unconscious or by chance. Originality is a bit overrated, imo.

Even the pairs that appear to poke fun at an less known artist when paired with a famous work, ask questions about how a single work functions in an artist body of work, or why is one work in the pair is considered important and one not. For many us who do not have a great deal of knowledge in the field of contemporary art, the project invites inexperienced viewers to play a fun game, and gain literacy, ask questions, look stuff up. A little like flash cards with a twist.

Even the fact that some of the pairs seem heavy handed and sometimes not is interesting.

It looks like anyone is can submit pairs to the project which accounts for the wide variety of pairs.

Thanks for posting!
posted by snaparapans at 6:44 PM on May 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


but the premise of a site like this is kinda anti-intellectual and uncharitable. Some of these are cases of homage or allusion; some of them are cases of artists pursuing quite different lines of visual or social inquiry that just happen to intersect at a certain point; some of them are just cases of two people independently arriving at a perfectly valid idea.

I clicked on the Info page:
This platform was created to promote formal and conceptual dialogue over originality.
posted by muddgirl at 6:53 PM on May 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


This platform was created to promote formal and conceptual dialogue over originality.

Which is nice and high-sounding. They they call it "Who Wore it Better" which frames it as a bitchy Perez Hilton "oooh, we caught two high-profile actresses wearing the same dress!" piece.
posted by yoink at 6:56 PM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am just really enjoying looking at all the art. Some of it I am really digging, like the elephants balancing on their trunks and the flaming cars on the dirt roads and the soldier standing in the corner.
posted by joannemerriam at 7:02 PM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


+
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:02 PM on May 29, 2013


Then they curate a whole blog full of interesting, thoughtful comparisons in both contemporary art and pop culture.
posted by muddgirl at 7:02 PM on May 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


Expanding a bit:

Comparisons
Dialogues
and Homages
posted by muddgirl at 7:05 PM on May 29, 2013


"Who Wore it Better" which frames it as a bitchy Perez Hilton "oooh, we caught two high-profile actresses wearing the same dress!" piece.

That is one way to look at it. Another way to think about Who Wore it Better is that exact copies (dresses, suits, hats, glasses, shoes, etc), change depending on who is wearing them. For me this asks question about copies, context and originality.
posted by snaparapans at 7:08 PM on May 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


Expanding a bit (more):

Lawsuits
posted by snaparapans at 7:17 PM on May 29, 2013


This platform was created to promote formal
and conceptual dialogue over originality.


Fancy!
posted by R. Mutt at 7:39 PM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


This site needs a voting feature.
posted by demiurge at 8:11 PM on May 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


Sure, some of these are cases of copying or of an idea that is so banally obvious that neither artist should have done it in the first place: but the premise of a site like this is kinda anti-intellectual and uncharitable.

Odd that you think there's a single obvious premise considering that the pairs are presented without commentary (and the "about" page's text doesn't support a charge of anti-intellectualism).

The only thing that points in the direction of something like your interpretation is the title, which is equally easily read as just being playful.

Anyway, I thought it was neat.
posted by kenko at 8:23 PM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I like it.

And now I want to have a party where we get together and pick our favorite pairs and make third partners for them.
posted by moonmilk at 8:32 PM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Brilliant and inspiring. This effectively destroys the excuse that 'someone probably already thought of this'. Of course, if it turns out that all of your ideas have already been created by other artists, you are probably destined for big things.
posted by Grammar Of Ornament at 9:09 PM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Very cool. I wish dates were included to provide a bit more context, but I wonder if that was intentionally omitted to steer the conversation away from accusations of plagiarism.
posted by sundaydriver at 9:10 PM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Grammar Of Ornament if it turns out that all of your ideas have already been created by other artists, you are probably destined for big things.

Looks to me like a big bucket of sour grapes. If anyone thinks that an artist can be destined for big things solely by stealing, without having big talent and big ideas of his or her own... think again.

What Damien Hirst has done he has done alone, and no one can claim that he made it off their back. His body of work is rich, deep, and, and consistent. An artist who merely copies other artists hoping to patch together a career, as is implied by your comment and link, cannot accomplish what Hirst has accomplished in today's contemporary art world, nothing close.

But, apart from the sour grapes, nice link!... fits nicely with the FFP.
posted by snaparapans at 9:46 PM on May 29, 2013


What Damien Hirst has done he has done alone, and no one can claim that he made it off their back.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damien_Hirst#Appropriation_and_plagiarism_claims
posted by whyareyouatriangle at 9:56 PM on May 29, 2013


Yes, whyareyouatriangle, it appears that you may be familiar with claims against Hirst for "plagiarizing", but are you familiar with Hirst's work over the last 25 years and the works of those who he "plagiarized"?

The FPP, sheds light on this very issue.. it is much more interesting, imo, to compare Hirst's work to those works he is accused or borrowing, stealing, and plagiarizing. For instance, compare his diamond encrusted skull of Hirst (for the love of god) to the ones of LeKay (Spiritus Callidus).. or Walter Robison's spin paintings and Hirst's later efforts using the same method...

One can litigate and win infringement claims, but that really does nothing to diminish a great artists body of work. The giant Charity girl and super giant anatomy figure, were stunning. They could have been copied from Michaelangelo, but Hirst made them his own.
posted by snaparapans at 10:26 PM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I love this - for both high-minded and shitty reasons.
posted by Kloryne at 10:34 PM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Which is nice and high-sounding. They they call it "Who Wore it Better" which frames it as a bitchy Perez Hilton "oooh, we caught two high-profile actresses wearing the same dress!" piece."

Or they could be smart enough to be joking, right? If they were setting out to be bitchy, they could have done a better job.

Anyway, I love this and am sad there's no RSS. I would love to follow something like this on tumblr.
posted by klangklangston at 11:32 PM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


vvork organized their collection in a similar thematic way without feeling the need to make it about direct comparisons.
posted by beerbajay at 2:21 AM on May 30, 2013


I found it dizzying as I kept scrolling down. Maybe it was the "captcha" comparison that got my mind going in this direction, but at some point the finding of similarities between the left and right started to feel like a Turing test.
posted by Didymium at 3:20 AM on May 30, 2013


klang, it's a tumblr site. (My + was me following it.)
posted by seanmpuckett at 3:43 AM on May 30, 2013


What Damien Hirst has done he has done alone, and no one can claim that he made it off their back.

Yes, it would be unfair to blame others for DH's work/career.
posted by R. Mutt at 5:17 AM on May 30, 2013


Yes, it would be unfair to blame.....

a little boring, no?.... isn't it more fun, interesting, to compare, play and discuss?
posted by snaparapans at 8:27 AM on May 30, 2013


Sweet, Sean, thanks.
posted by klangklangston at 8:30 AM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


And so brilliantly, if unintentionally, yoink points out to us a possible meaning behind the site: that two things that look very alike ("Who Wore It Better", the art website, and "Who Wore It Better", the fashion magazine article or webpage) can reverbrate very differently in a viewer's mind.

Or they can be summed up as, "Eh, pretty much the same thing."
posted by IAmBroom at 9:24 AM on May 30, 2013


"Who Wore It Better", the fashion magazine article or webpage...

Haha.. I had no idea... nice, makes it even better.

Anima accounts for everything. It seems impossible to escape the uniqueness that life energy brings to a thing once it is touched, or embodied.
posted by snaparapans at 9:44 AM on May 30, 2013


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