Book
Thresholds 47: Repeat

"Repetition is displacement; repetition is difference... repetition is pushing the limits of resemblance and limitation."
—Elaine Sturtevant

Works of art and architecture repeat: across global exhibitions, digital directories, sites, and centuries. Eames chairs are resurrected as keychains; Arnaldo Pomodoro’s serial sculptures dot the disparate cities of Tel Aviv, Jeddah, and the Vatican; Yvonne Rainer’s dance survives in reperformance. In Nashville, Tennessee, the Greek Parthenon is replicated across a thousand-year gulf; in Japan, a shrine is rebuilt every twenty years, celebrating shikinen sengū—a ritual of transfer and renewal. Cultural artifacts ride the movement of repetition, representation, and reuse between ever new publics and functions, accreting multiple lives and an unruly tangle of genealogies.

Does a repeat world, a repeat future, predicate a landscape of the always already seen? Or does each repetition mark a rupture—an opening out onto possibility? If repetition harbors liberatory potential, so too does it carry an inherent danger: at a moment when history is repeating itself—when currents of fascism, nationalism, and xenophobia are flooding back into the present—notions of return and recurrence appear particularly fraught. What does repetition propose, beyond displacement and difference? In this issue of Thresholds we are especially concerned with the urgent political stakes, investments, and ideologies that always rush forward to condition repetition.

Thresholds 47: Repeat seeks scholarly writing and artistic interventions addressing the lives of art and architecture through the rubric of the repeat in a variety of modes: the remake, remastering and restaging, revivalism and restoration, pre-mechanical reproduction and early historical conceptions of repetition, and the second lives and afterlives of things.

Title
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsDowney W, Rifky S
Volume47
PublisherMIT Press
CityCambridge, MA
Abstract

"Repetition is displacement; repetition is difference... repetition is pushing the limits of resemblance and limitation."
—Elaine Sturtevant

Works of art and architecture repeat: across global exhibitions, digital directories, sites, and centuries. Eames chairs are resurrected as keychains; Arnaldo Pomodoro’s serial sculptures dot the disparate cities of Tel Aviv, Jeddah, and the Vatican; Yvonne Rainer’s dance survives in reperformance. In Nashville, Tennessee, the Greek Parthenon is replicated across a thousand-year gulf; in Japan, a shrine is rebuilt every twenty years, celebrating shikinen sengū—a ritual of transfer and renewal. Cultural artifacts ride the movement of repetition, representation, and reuse between ever new publics and functions, accreting multiple lives and an unruly tangle of genealogies.

Does a repeat world, a repeat future, predicate a landscape of the always already seen? Or does each repetition mark a rupture—an opening out onto possibility? If repetition harbors liberatory potential, so too does it carry an inherent danger: at a moment when history is repeating itself—when currents of fascism, nationalism, and xenophobia are flooding back into the present—notions of return and recurrence appear particularly fraught. What does repetition propose, beyond displacement and difference? In this issue of Thresholds we are especially concerned with the urgent political stakes, investments, and ideologies that always rush forward to condition repetition.

Thresholds 47: Repeat seeks scholarly writing and artistic interventions addressing the lives of art and architecture through the rubric of the repeat in a variety of modes: the remake, remastering and restaging, revivalism and restoration, pre-mechanical reproduction and early historical conceptions of repetition, and the second lives and afterlives of things.