The Illegality of Motiveless Actions



Picked for a Critic's Top Ten in March 2007 on the Saatchi Online website magazine by Rebecca Wilson (editor of Saatchi Online Magazine, and previously editor of Art Review).

Oil on Canvas

183 x 153cm

Apology for the painting “The Illegality of Motiveless Actions” 2007

The title was existential in nature, since Sartre notes the causality and motive behind our every action. I was interested in the nature of existence of the artist. I had painted this unconscious of any particular motive, perhaps there was some subconscious move to paint nothing in particular, but it was aimless. The idea that surrounds it queries the legality of the nature of its production within the (unwritten) laws of contemporary conceptual practice; i.e. Idea followed by work, where for many conceptual artists the instinctive nature of painting makes it akin to a bodily function. Conversely the title, “The Illegality of Motiveless Actions”, seemed to legalize the process and legitimize the artwork. The whole work, (title + physical work) seemed to act as a whole, one was pitched against the other in the opposite corner (Aimless painting (visual) statement vs. Meaningful loaded (theory) statement), but they mutually justified each other.

Louise Marchal (as part of M.F.A. at University of Sunderland) 2007




  Installation view when exhibited at York City Screen in summer 2008.