Double Agent

26 Apr 2008 – 28 Jun 2008

Mead Gallery

Coventry, United Kingdom


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Double Agent is an exhibition of art works and collaborative projects in which the artist uses other people as a medium. All of the works raise questions of performance and authorship, and in particular the issues of ethics and representation that ensue when the artist is no longer the central agent in his or her own work, but operates through a range of individuals, communities, and surrogates. One of the starting points for the exhibition is the recent and conspicuous rise of artistic interest in performance and performative gestures among contemporary artists. But today's generation, unlike their precursors in the 1960s and 70s, do not necessarily privilege the live moment or their own body. Instead, they engage in strategies of mediation, delegation and collaboration. Such strategies can work to undermine the idea of the authentic or authoritative artist, who is substituted instead by a variety of figures. Such strategies can also promote unpredictability and risk, as the artist's agents may prove to be partial or unreliable. In some instances the use of third parties can also raise ethical issues and questions of exploitation. Double Agent includes seven artists, represented by a range of media including video and live performance. It includes the UK premieres of a number of significant works, as well as new commissions.


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