Untitled #28, 1992
In this theme we explored a common artistic practice which is easily overlooked. We raised questions about how and in what way repetition serves the final artistic statement. How do the repeated images subtly differ and how are such variations central to the integrity of the work?
Bruce Nauman's video "No, No, No!" is a unique work from 1985, in which a clown jumps up and down in a concrete space, yelling, "No, No, No". There can't be absolute sameness in the act unless one event is consecutively re-recorded. Yayoi Kusama's "Stamen's Sorrow" consists of 120 boxes, which are each slightly different. Why is this slight difference important? Jeff Koon's, "Two Balls 50/50" includes two identical basketballs (as identical as its manufacturing process permits) floating in a fish tank. Leonardo Drew's work includes hundreds of canvas sacks. How are their similarity and dissimilarity, volume and number, crucial to the work? Magdalena Abakanowicz's burlap sculpture is of five standing armless and headless figures and Richard Long's floor piece includes 172 fragments of cornwall stone. Miyajima's work includes 40 LEDs, (most green and a few red), each with eleven numbers. It implicitly questions how apparent sameness in the universe is subverted by infinite variation. Among the other artists are Kendall Geers and Gilbert & George.
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