{ appropriation }


“Appropriation as appropriate practice” is a concept I have been working on both theoretically as well as within the framework of my artistic/curatorial practice since 2015.

It is a concept and a methodology that seeks to contribute both on a micro as well as a macro scale of things, taking into account the bigger picture of society and politics as well as remaining personal and focused on my specific practice.

My understanding of appropriation derives from the field of Art-history and includes the assumption of intertextuality as well as artistic appropriation as a method; Sherry Levines “After Walker Evans” being one of my favorite expressions of this genre. “After Walker Evans” exemplifies the potential of copying something with slight changes or critical, even comical references to that which was “appropriated”. Further, appropriation can also be understood in its simplest form as taking hold of something or “taking something on” which for example, is not uncommon in economics and politics, where it’s often a brutal and unjust act. From in-between these positions I interpret appropriation as a strategy with great potential for subversion and the instigation of change, if it could be separated from its imminent potential of (re)creating a power structure.

The idea of power, of agency, of the right and the possibility of “doing” something is key to my understanding of appropriation as an appropriate practice: If we think of appropriation as a method to gain power and a voice for those who have none. Simplified this would mean: Gaining power, but then using this power for doing “the right thing.” This seems futile, especially if we assume that the process of gaining power is automatically accompanied by a certain amount of corruption of the self, along with ones ethics and ideals.


Marie Therese Luger