In the second part of the series, our focus turns towards the act of repetition. We look at a range of artists whose practice encompasses a repeated action (or set of actions), or a repeated image.
In his 2008 book Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell made the claim that one could become an expert in a particular field after dedicating 10,000 hours (or, more specifically, 3 hours a day for 10 years) to honing the skills required. If we apply that rule to the artists here, they have certainly become experts in their chosen field, but to what end? And what constitutes success?
Through repetition these artists create dialogue, pose questions, seek the limits of themselves. By repeating an action over and over, the muscles become weak and tired, the hand starts to slip and errors creep into the work. Through repeating an image, the audience seeks out the evidence of human creation… Spot the difference, or spot the mistake. In this digital age of perfect rendering, it is imperfection that we can relate to.
Practice makes perfect. Or practice makes imperfect?