Elia Inderle / Oliver Harris: Overpainted Beats – Explosions of Blood

Why blemish the image of the Beats, why throw paint over their pictures to deface their faces like this? What does Elia Inderle think he’s doing! If first thought is best thought—as Ginsberg used to say, thinking of Kerouac’s spontaneous writing as much as his own—my first thought was that Overpainted Beats must be an act of conceptual art vandalism, a tradition of scandal a century old. Think back to Marcel Duchamp in 1919 giving the Mona Lisa a hot ass and a moustache. There’s something just as scandalous and childish about this splattering of paint, this simple use of one colour to splash and splodge the photographic image, an infantile gesture that separates it from true mixed media art, such as the highly skilled photo paintings of the German artist Gerhard Richter. Inderle isn’t trying for aesthetic originality, which is surely his point: that the image of these authors is not authentic, has no aura: they’re just cheap mechanical reproductions, appropriations of images that are themselves appropriated: it’s appropriations all the way down… Or think not of Dada but the Situationists of the Sixties, and Jørgen Nash decapitating the bronze statue of the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen—an act of cut-up sabotage that Burroughs would reference in his cut-up novel, The Ticket That Exploded, having previously sent Rock and Roll hoodlums into the Louvre to “throw acid in the Mona Lisa’s face” in Naked Lunch. Echoing the Beats in general and Burroughs in particular, does Overpainted Beats join this venerable artistic tradition of trashing and vandalizing venerated art?

Link to the publisher’s website: http://www.molokoplusrecords.de/finder.php?folder=Print&content=169

Please find Matt Theado’s review here: https://ebsn.eu/scholarship/reviews/overpainted-beats-explosions-of-blood-elia-inderle-introduction-by-oliver-harris-moloko-print-2022/