De Nieuwe Stem 513

De Nieuwe Stem 513

et al.
De Nieuwe Stem 513
open edition print
832 x 583mm

The Artist

In contrast to the cult of personality that surrounds many artists, the artist collective et al. (a Latin abbreviation for “and others”) operates as an anonymous group, avoiding the effect an artist’s biographical details can have on the way their work is read. In fact, so effective is this insistence on anonymity, and so embedded is it in their work, that any attempt at biographical explanation quickly becomes a consideration of what they do rather than who they are. For more than 20 years, a growing list of personas and entities have contributed to their body of work, including p. mule, l. budd, merit gröting and popular productions, defying art historians and museum staff who rely on the documentation of an artist’s career, and dodging the assumptions that come with gender, generation or culturally specific names. In 2000 this group of alter egos was combined under the catch-all moniker et al., later reinforced by a 2009 retrospective exhibition from “The Estate of L. Budd”, seemingly confirming that this particular individual entity, “active c. 1992-2000”, had been terminated. One can imagine museum registrars throughout the country pondering how to update their databases accordingly.

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