We decided to draw on Goya. We got someone from the Gallery to go and buy them for us. We suggested that we were going to have a slush fund so that the money that was, hopefully, recuperated by selling the first work would go into buying the second set. So that, again, we would turn it from a, kind of, a conceptual or gestural act into something which was much more malevolent – which is to say that if we get our hands on every Goya set, we will draw on them.
The idea of drawing on the work was a way of amplifying some of the more monstrous or abject elements of the work, which, kind of, maybe perhaps tease them out. I mean, the point about Goya making the Disasters of War was that it was about wide dissemination; you know, the etching press was about, kind of, distribution rather than scarcity. But what we’re doing is, we’re rarifying the works by drawing on them, so that, in effect, what we can do is that we can deplete the numbers that are available so that perhaps they do become rarer than rocking-horse shit.
I think the question of it being vandalism is actually, technically, incorrect, because vandalism is normally schematically destructive, when what we did with the Goya pictures was to draw on them very delicately. So they are more over-drawings than they are acts of vandalism. It’s an act of erasure of sorts, so it’s a way of making a point, but making the point quite firmly. But I think that’s part of our argument about the Goyas, part of the institutional framework that, kind of, somehow suppresses the work by this kind of absurd, kind of, ethical dynamic which is to say that these images are almost journalistic depictions of atrocity.
You actually look at the Goya prints and, you know, the degree of the artist’s interest, kind of, gravitates towards the areas of laceration and castration and cutting; and so, in a way, they, kind of, undermine the moral framework that it seems framed by. And I think this is a matter of actually looking at the work; and so I think by drawing on the work, I think we were trying to get people to look at the work.