Brandon Ballengée engages in renewing, not inventing.
The invention of a new art form or the founding of a new art movement usually qualifies an artist for inclusion in the history of art. But some artists entered art history because of their association with the prefix ‘neo’ instead of the adjective ‘new’. They are remembered for reviving such defunct art movements as:
Neo-expressionism (Georg Baselitz, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Julian Schnabel, Elizabeth Murray, A.R. Penck)
Neo-Dada (Yves Klein, George Maciunas, Yoko Ono, Nam June Paik, Allan Kaprow, George Brecht)
Neo-Romanticism (Pavel Tchelitchew, Maxfield Parrish, Minor White, Joseph Cornell)
Neo-Impressionism (Anna Boch, Jean Metzinger, Georges Seurat, Paul Signac)
Neo-Pop (Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami)
In each instance, the artist’s contribution to the history of art takes the form of restoring a significant movement that had not been maintained, not inventing something original.
a. Brandon Ballengée, in his work entitled Species Reclamation via Non-Linear Genetic Timeline: An Attempted Hymenochirus Curtipes Model Induced by Controlled Breeding, joins the ‘neo’ art tradition. Like the artists listed above, he engages in renewing, not inventing. Choose an example of any ‘neo’ art tradition listed above. Compare the significance of its restoration of a past art form to Ballengée’s recreation of a past life form. Was it their intention to duplicate or to reinterpret?
b. Like Ballengée, Tissue Culture & Art creates life forms, but instead of looking back in time, TC&A contrives life forms that have never before existed on Earth. Apply the concepts of ‘new’ and ‘neo’ to the artworks by Ballengée and TC&A that are discussed in this book. How are these concepts manifested in their creative processes, in the kind of research they each conduct, by the maintenance regimens of the completed works of art, and in the installation of the completed works of art?