Magazine article Artforum International

Tin Foiled

Magazine article Artforum International

Tin Foiled

Article excerpt

CHARLIE CHAPLIN AND ANDY WARHOL BOTH CONTEMPLATED the machine and came to the same conclusion: Its effects were dehumanizing. But where Chaplin issued a de facto warning about the mechanization of life in his art, Warhol fell madly in love with the idea. For Warhol, it was man who paled in comparison to the machine, not the other way around.

Warhol's quixotic enterprise, his impossible dream of becoming a machine, was ultimately doomed to (unmechanical) failure. He was sold short by his poor animal body: by going bald (he hid it under a big logo of a wig), getting shot (by a woman), and succumbing to a small, unnecessary death that was absurdly anticlimactic (going out like a lamb). And despite his efforts to disappear the human, his work couldn't really be produced in his absence--other people's touch (however light) would find its way in and flub up his aesthetic.

In his quest to construct an ever-expanding, self-perpetuating assembly line, Warhol perused all conduits through which he might pump out images and information. In this, he became part of a larger machine--namely, the media machine--as a filter or screen through which notables, newsworthies, and wouldliketobes pass. …

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