The Power of Repetition

Stabile ( with confetti) Amalia Pica
Eye To Eye Deborah Druick

Amalia Pica is an Argentinian artist whose work “Stabile (with confetti) #2" presents a simple gesture that has an immense impact. A mass of confetti has been scattered onto the gallery floor. Every single piece of the hundreds of paper circles are fixed to the floor with clear tape so that the air currents and crowd movements do not move them. The windblown effect we expect does not happen. This piece plays with the ideas of randomness, permanence, and the ephemeral. By using the repetition of these many common elements Pica can emphasize important differences that would not otherwise be apparent. This is theme explored by the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze in his now iconic 1968 book ”Difference and Repetition.” In it Delleuze questions concepts of identity and representation, proposing that repetition can be an “active force producing difference.” He also presents an analysis of representation, language, history and capitalism. One of his most important points is that in the history of philosophy, both repetition and difference have always been understood as having negative, derivative qualities that exist in relation to a unique entity. He tries to understand the essential meaning of difference and repetition, not as something fixed but as reinvention, an “ active force producing difference.” In looking at commodity consumption, mass production and advertising, contemporary artists explore ideas of difference within repetition, often focusing our attention on subtle details. Repetition also surfaces in artists’ concepts of the human body and its frailties, the importance of human touch in the creative process, communication (e.g. copies) and the power of language.

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