Ana Teles was completing her MFA degree in London when her work became a point of contention amongst her fellow students. She was taking the artworks of her peers and copying them in a way that conveyed her personal relationship to the work – this meant either a form of close reproduction or adding an element reflective of her personal style. In this intensely competitive environment, Teles displayed these objects as her own, using the name of the artist it was “stolen” from as the title. A number of her peers were displeased, citing concerns that she was trivializing the originality of their process, damaging their objects, and diminishing their authorship. Teles’ thesis can be seen as an attempt to understand the process of art making and how a derivative sense of labor can fluctuate on an individual level. The perception that her work became an invasive exploration of artistic practice highlights the general concerns associated with appropriation, where is the line drawn and should there be one?
Denny Gallery, 2014