Review from Ballettanz April 2006


Doppelgänger is an exhibition comprising four screens, showing people looking at art and at themselves. Each of the four images is presented in duplicate, to be viewed (optionally) through glasses that blend the images weirdly into one with an awkward 3d feel. The layered and swollen, stereoscopic image and flickery stop-motion effect (made from thousands of still photographs) heighten the artists' ungainly, staged style - as if a human being is always a faulty performance, a plastic projection of a certain belief or action.

"Doppelgänger" exhibited at New Art Gallery Walsall until 23rd April takes the British artists' ongoing fascination with 2 and 3d appearances one step further, while rendering an innocent visit to the art gallery an absurd, confusing game of human assertions and denials. "No, I never!" bleats one character into her mobile phone, while others reach for and arrange themselves in the mirror, or obediently bow down before the art on the walls.

The exhibition is accompanied by a book and dvd, "Anarchic Dance", with critical essays by a range of leading dance artists and theorists including Sondra Fraleigh, Sherril Dodds, Carol Brown and Aggiss and Cowie themselves, available at

With honesty and directness, the artists explain how they work, and the influences upon it, while others provide insightful analysis and context. Academic perceptions are seriously and accessibly brought to bear on the output of Aggiss and Cowie's more than 20 year collaboration - deconstructing and discussing it in terms of feminism, hybridity, Expressionism, the "grotesque", abstraction and narrative, linguistic play and addressing the multiple and playful textures that define it: sound, space, shape, language.

Lizzy Le Quesne