Screenprints Index  |  Richard Horvath Artworks

Screenprint title Cool Clones

Cool Clones

C. 1980
Screen print
80 x 76 centimeters
Collection National Gallery of Australia

It was the film, The Boys From Brazil, which details a bizarre plot, by nazis who have fled to South America, to clone copies of Adolf Hitler, that was my introduction to the concept of cloning. At the time I had a studio in the central business district of Melbourne and I was interested in commenting on the crowds of look-alike office workers I used to see daily. The two separate ideas were conflated when cloning became a compelling metaphor for the submission of individuality to the requirements of the workplace.

The 'clones' came from television stills captured from a late night movie and were given darkroom treatment that stripped away detail, thereby suggesting the clones prematurely formed nature. The background high-rise, which required a numbing uniformity indicative of the clones natural habitat, was sourced from a book on hotel architecture. The building, which I believe is a Hilton hotel, was mirrored and spliced photographically to the original to form an imprisoning wall that subtly echoes the twining of the clones.

I was pleased to note a copy of the print at a party I attended, and when I asked the hostess' reason for buying the work, she answered that it perfectly reflected the professional trap she was in at the time.