Throughout the 1990s the loop, the technical device by which a shorter sequence of film or video is connected at the end and the beginning in order to create an infinite chain of repeating material, became an established trope in the field of the moving image. "Again and Again" looks at how loops and other non-temporal strategies such as multi-channel installation, split-screen, multiple perspectives and experiments with seriality were posited as formal and spatial means to expand the narrative toolkit of digital video throughout the 1990s and 2000s. The exhibition takes this specific historical moment of development within the medium of the moving image as a prism to look at how notions of repetition influenced artistic examinations of the self.
The 1990s and 2000s were a battleground for the integrity of personal identity which was seemingly under attack from multiple trajectories. The rise of reality TV, webcam culture and online portals such as Myspace offered a direct insight into formerly private realms of others. An increased awareness of surveillance technologies, as well as a widespread concern about identity theft, cast doubt upon individual sovereignty in the information age. Furthermore, discussions around human cloning, genetic engineering and biopolitics led to a fundamental re-evaluation of individual and cultural identity.
"Again and Again" presents a selection of works by artists such as Mark Leckey, Bjørn Melhus, Tracey Emin, and Brice Dellsperger which exhibit a fascination for the cleaved or reproduced subject. Whether it is the artist herself creating personal mythologies, or the characters within her fictional universes who are being fragmented and replicated, the works collectively probe the notion of selfhood at the turn of the twenty-first century.
"Again and Again" is curated by Daniel Milnes