Maria Kozic Spots The Difference

Godzilla I, II & III

published Art & Text No.11, Melbourne, 1984

Cover versions circulate in a different space from concepts of image scavenging, appropriating, pirating and plundering. The work of Maria Kozic spots the difference. The difference is in the former's lack of contextual positioning - its play, as opposed to the latter's practice. Other notions trace movement from here to there, whereas the cover version is more from this to this. And overlapping that does not step outside itself. The cover version then is not a problematic - it is a pain.

In this way the work of Maria Kozic is painful. In her work, there is nothing to not understand, but plenty to be missed. First, you miss out on the works themselves. As reproductions, they cannot be reproduced. This specific is lost in the very fact that creates them.

In Godzilla I II and III, (1983), reproduction suffers its own reproduction. Once again, you cannot see it. Its surface really is its own surface, a surface that belies reproduction. No trace of illustration; no mark of depiction; no presence of painting. The plundered image is always careful to name itself (as plundered), to signify its own signification. In opposition, Godzilla is a true cover version - its only reality is in its covering; part of a long line of zombie images all thriving off each other's sameness. Through concentrating more on origin than originality as a dichotomic site, Maria Kozic’s work speaks to us in depth more than on the surface. It is this depth that makes you smile when you see Godzilla, acknowledging the nature of the painting not through your perception of it (the object) but through your understanding of its reality - Godzilla.

This reality is mediated by feeling, attitude and relevance. If you can't identify the difference between Quiet Riot performing (à la video clip) Slade’s “Cum on feel the noize” on MTV and the Beastie Boys doing it live at a Kitchen gig - you missed it. Similarly, the terms of understanding or not understanding works of Maria Kozic lie elsewhere. Her images are not a return to the personal (the lone drinker in the kitchen at parties) but a genuine celebration of one's free floating tangents of relevance (the party itself).

Perhaps it gets reduced to a sense of humour. If you don't get it first off, there's no real way of making you actually laugh. The funny thing about cover versions is that they hide behind themselves.

Text © Philip Brophy. Image © Godzilla.