Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Repetition compulsion

So I was looking into the nature of compulsive and repetitive behaviour on the internet and I came across the term Repetition Compulsion which I found quite interesting.

It's a psychological phenomenon where a person repeats a traumatic event or circumstances over and over again. It includes reenacting the event or putting oneself in situations where the event is likely to happen again. It can also take the form of dreams and feelings of what happened are repeated.

The term also covers the repetition of behavioural life patterns. Freud says it describes the pattern whereby people endlessly repeat patterns of behaviours which were difficult or distressing in earlier life.

There is a lot more too this and the theory why people do it etc. but just this brief overview of it had aspects which I find really interesting in relation to making my art. I would kind of like to do this in a way in my videos with my use of repetition and reenact a traumatic event/situation/time and put that on the audience.

AL tutorial With Fran Cottell

Here are some suggestions she made about my work

  • I should try showing different versions/experiments of my videos in a project space and get feedback from people to see which is the most successful
  • maybe have something with a beginning and an end to draw people in to watching it.
  • talked about how it is art and how to make it more art than just a comment on something.
  • I explained I wanted the videos to be an experience and she related that to bill viola who said something similar about his videos.
  • maybe have more abiguity so its not so obvious what it's about.

Monday, 14 January 2013

You talkin' to me ?

Douglas Gordon : Through a looking glass.

I saw this last year at Tate Liverpool as part of an Alice in Wonderland exhibition. It takes a scene from the film Taxi Driver where Travis Bickle played by Robert De Niro asks "You talkin' to me?" whilst looking into a mirror and holding a gun .

"The two facing images, which begin in sync, progressively fall out of step, echoing the character's loss of control and his mental breakdown. These discordant projected images seem to respond to one another, thus trapping the viewer in the crossfire. In its almost dizzying play of dualities, through a looking glass perfectly articulates the dialectical inversions, doublings, and repetitions that are the central concerns of Gordon's work." (guggenheim) 

There are two screens facing each other which play this scene, they start synchronised and then become out of sync so becomes a dialogue between the 2 screens which you are stuck between. 


I was told to look at this website called Lux  (theres a .org on and a lux online one which are slightly different)in one of my tutorials. So glad I was its a great website for videos artists to look at. Theres quite a lot of resources and essays to read and videos to watch about film making and video art which I have found quite good to read through and for looking at artists.

I have been looking at installation on the website so here an example of something/

John Akomfrah

I saw this installation at the Liverpool Biennial and forgot to write about it when I came back. However I was reminded of it when we had a lecture on the Black Arts movement and the BAFC was talked about where John Akomfrah is one of the founding members.

This piece identified with me due to the use of video and appropriation of archival footage. I really like the use of the 3 screens with different videos running on them as I think it really worked well together. I liked that each time you watch the installation the film you are viewing is different depending on which screens you pay attention to and at which point.

It made me think about my own work and how maybe I could try something with multiple screens like I have mentioned before.

The content of the videos are personal to Akomfrah's life especially the aspects of identity and race. It also looks at the theme of memories and its questionable nature.

'The Unfinished Conversation looks at the theory that identity is not an essence or being but instead a becoming, where individual subjectivities are formed in both real and fictive spaces.'

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Pierre Bismuth

So a while ago I wrote about a piece of work from my philosophy seminar but I could't remember the name. But I have now found out !

This is a better description than I gave for it.