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Duncan Marquiss : Spandrels

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Duncan Marquiss ‘Spandrels’ May 23rd – June 15th Preview: Thursday May 22nd 6-9pm


A spandrel is a triangular wall space that forms between two adjacent arches. The biologists Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Lewontin borrowed this architectural term to describe characteristics in animals that have no apparent function. (They cite the human chin as one example). This suggests that some traits in animals are not the direct result of utilitarian natural selection, but may be evolutionary byproducts, trace remains or glitches. Gould and Lewontin emphasis how constraints in body planes, and random genetic drift, are significant forces in determining the shape and behavior of an animal. The artworks in my exhibition at The Pipe Factory also take material limits and random processes as creative parameters. To paraphrase Gould and Lewontin, the constraints themselves are often more interesting than the selective force or intention. The work Video Artifacts: 2004-2014 plays on the double meaning of the term artefact. Comprised of extracts from my archive of unused footage, the videos are historical objects. But the movement within the videos of swarming midges and interwoven reeds also recall the patterns of digital artifacts – unwanted noise or interference in the image. The drawings in the exhibition are similarly concerned with pattern and analogy. I find it useful to think of them as trace remains of my activity, a record of ideas developing through material play. Perhaps then these artworks can be considered as spandrellike echoes of that process.

Duncan Marquiss (b. 1979 Scotland). Recent exhibitions include Secret Societies at Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt 2011; Noise at Unosunove, Rome 2012 and Flatness: Cinema After The Internet at Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, 2013.

The Pipe Factory Thu- Sun 12-4pm (Or by appointment) 42 Bain St G40 2LA


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