Launching tomorrow at the unique art space, Banner Repeater, RE-RUN is the new instalment of the ongoing art project curated by Majed Aslam and Fay Nicolson, showcasing a series of short, one minute films on a continuous loop. Producers like Actress and Ayshay, as well as artists and filmmakers - Nathan Barlex, David Blandy, Ami Clarke, Jess Flood-Paddock, Dean Kissick, Gil Leung, Chooc Ly Tan, Damien Roach, Oliver Smith, and Jesse Wine - were each invited to submit a short digital video file, no longer than a minute, to be displayed for 24 hours.
We also asked [the artists] to think about the technical novelty of the loop and how their work could be be experienced by viewers… Paradoxically, imposed constraints can be a useful device for freeing up ideas and working processes that also provide an element of continuity between the works
From 6th – 21st March, a different piece will be displayed each day at Banner Repeater on Platform 1 of Hackney Downs rail station and online, culminating in a final event exploring the relativity and importance of the 'loop' and its effect on temporal structure. We speak to the curators about the project alongside a preview of one of the films from Gil Leung.
Dazed Digital: How did you curate and pick the artists involved?
Majed Aslam and Fay Nicolson: We were compelled towards certain ways artists were engaging with ideas and employing processes, rather than thinking so much about their work. Part of this came from our interest in new ways of disseminating information, but largely we were interested in the potential for the show to make itself. Some artists such as Damien Roach have a very interesting relationship with digital mediums; not in the slightest bit fetishist, but somehow treating them on their own terms and understanding their limits and potentials. Others, such as Nathan Barlex, seem to be looking the same way but documenting things differently, in his case primarily through painting. We thought a mix of working approaches would serve the set up well and make for interesting viewing.
DD: What is the link between them?
Majed Aslam and Fay Nicolson: We expect that links will emerge throughout the course of the show. There are threads there that exist with certain works which can be coaxed out, the way in which certain artists orientate themselves with regards to contemporary visual codes would be one, but we don’t think that these necessarily need pointing out. Our interest is more in what may emerge throughout the course of the show, as videos are experienced episodically. These links, while not being entirely coincidental, are still somewhat unpredictable.
DD: What was the brief given to the artists involved?
Fay Nicolson: We asked every artist to send in a digital video no longer than a minute that was going to be played on a loop for one day. We also asked them to think about the technical novelty of the loop and how their work could be be experienced by viewers. Essentially, it was a brief with quite tight constraints (medium and time) that artists have chosen to adhere to or work against. Paradoxically, imposed constraints can be a useful device for freeing up ideas and working processes that also provide an element of continuity between the works.
DD: Where did the initial idea of the 24-hour endless loop come from and why is this a relevant format to display art today - especially in today's culture of ever-decreasing attention spans?
Majed Aslam: There are some studies now which suggest that not only are our attention spans decreasing but our neurology is adapting to these changes. I don’t know what effect this may be having on how we look at art though, I’d find that difficult to answer. But within all this the idea of the loop, while not being novel, is something which I find strangely seductive. The artist Actress is someone who has been very influential to me in this regard. His record 'Hazyville' is full of really deep loops which compel you to pick at the seams and in doing so you notice the slightest, but at the same time very real changes. It becomes an experience which is lulling and slightly transcendental. It seems an odd experience to be having at times. I wanted to push at this and see what motivations were behind it and how they might manifest elsewhere.
DD: What kind of reactions do you expect of the audience/viewer?
Majed Aslam: I hope they may see some artists’ work behaving in a new way and find that interesting or entertaining.
Fay Nicolson: We expect diverse reactions from viewers as people will inevitably engage with individual works and RE-RUN as a whole on their own terms. RE-RUN is a show that unravels in time, rather than space, and meets people on a one-to-one level in their domestic environment. I think it can work if people chance upon it once or if they become slightly addicted and return everyday to see the next work.
DD: What else are you working on at the moment?
Majed Aslam: We are planning the next RE-RUN, which will take place at One Thoresby Street in Nottingham in May involving a new selection of artists. We have been invited by Nottingham based curator and artist Candice Jacobs to exhibit as part of a project she is developing called Sleeping Upright. I’m also part of an ongoing collaboration with Chris Barr called Black Argos.
Fay Nicolson: I am also working with Candice to curate a group exhibition called 'Accidentally on Purpose' opening late July at QUAD in Derby relating to repetition and the everyday. Next week I am heading to Amsterdam to speak at a symposium called WE ARE THE TIME at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, which will be very exciting. My talk is called Marginal Notes: Curricular Documents which also explores temporal loops yet focuses on past, present and current tensions in art education. I am also currently working with Oliver Smith on a forthcoming web based publication called SOLO, as well as spending a lot of time in my studio making new work.
Film by: Gil Leung. French Drop, video, sound, 1 minute, UK 2012
Launching at Banner Repeater - situated on Platform 1, Hackney Downs railway station, London E8 1LA; 06.03.12: 6.30pm - 8.30pm
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