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Duncan Marquiss

Copying Errors

For spring 2016 we're delighted to present Copying Errors, the largest exhibition to date by Scottish artist Duncan Marquiss. In his video works and drawings Marquiss often draws links between a range of cultural reference points, bringing them together in new and unexpected ways. The exhibition presents a selection of works from the last five years of his practice, revealing shifts in style and execution. This body of work ranges from the material experimentation of his drawings and flicker films, to recent documentary videos that stem from his interest in biology. The title of the exhibition refers to biological variations caused by errors in the reproduction of genetic information, yet it is also a reference to Marquiss’ preoccupation with the idiosyncrasies that occur within the materials he uses.

"I often arrive at an artwork via a happy accident with some material, which I'll then try to repeat, so I'm often copying errors in my own work"

Duncan Marquiss

Copying Errors includes the first gallery presentation of Marquiss’ video Evolutionary Jerks & Gradualist Creeps, which was commissioned through the Margaret Tait Award and premiered at Glasgow Film Festival earlier this year. This piece features interviews with the biologists Niles Eldredge and Armand Marie Leroi, in which they discuss the controversies surrounding Eldredge's revolutionary theory of Punctuated Equilibria; evolution in fits and starts. Leroi has recently found a similar pattern of change in his study of the evolution of pop music, which he describes as ‘pop- paleontology’. Their conversation considers the analogies and differences between biological and cultural evolution, taking in Eldredge's vast collection of brass musical instruments and Leroi's burgeoning ‘science of culture’, which uses algorithms to trace cultural genealogies. This dialogue is interwoven with footage shot by Marquiss, who takes the themes of the discussion as a cue for image-making processes and editing structures.

Duncan Marquiss graduated in 2001 in Printmaking at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design and subsequently graduated from the MFA at Glasgow School of Art in 2005. He undertook the LUX Associate Artist Programme, London in 2009. He was the recipient of the Margaret Tait Award 2015-16. Recent exhibitions and screenings include Experimenta, BFI London Film Festival; International Motley Honest Signals, Glasgow Project Room; Index, screening at Microscope Gallery, New York; Foraging Economics, essay for The Happy Hypocrite, 2014; and Information Foraging, Artist Moving Image Festival Tramway, Glasgow 2013. An exhibition with Toby Christian, Renderuin, recently opened as part of Glasgow International Festival.

You can read more about Duncan Marquiss' Copying Errors in these interviews in The Skinny, The List and The Herald. After visiting the exhibition, The List and The Scotsman also reviewed the show.

Copying Errors is part of Ignite, Dundee's festival of creativity.