Alan Alborough ExhibitionArtslink.co.za
Standard Bank Young Artist 2000
Standard Bank Gallery
24 April - 26 May 2001
Alan Alborough's Standard Bank Young Artist exhibition has been touring the country since last year's Standard Bank National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. It now moves into its final stage, opening at the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg in April.
On the show's journey through Grahamstown, Port Elizabeth, Pietermaritzburg, Durban, Bloemfontein and Cape Town, it has regularly undergone a metamorphosis, slowly changing its visible characteristics.
Constructed of everyday objects, rearticulated into a tableau both aesthetic and intriguing, the exhibition allows the viewer to enter into an open dialogue with its ever-evolving meaning.
In each venue elements of the installation undergo a staining process, giving rise each time to a new set of corroded materials unique to that venue. Likewise the installation is reconfigured in relation to each exhibition space and the dynamics of its own changing condition.
This procedure, set in motion by Alborough within the bounds of a very considered structure, manipulates the contradictions inherent within chance, guided by intention but subject to uncertainty, introducing the organic into an artificial reality.
In his catalogue essay, 'A Corrosive Beauty', Professor Colin Richards writes:
"This intertwined intellectual/emotional, external/internal habitat seems almost uniquely Alborough's terrain. He creates less the objects and structures we might desire (on the contrary, probably, save for the odd battery fetishist or zealot for the zen of plastic), but the conditions in which our desires can take sensual and sense-making skips and jumps. And this is about pleasure, about beauty, about liberty undoing the bondage in which the familiar holds our imagination and keeps our vision moribund. What faces us is a tonic material ritual; a habitual, laboured making and unmaking of habit to create new structures of experience itself. And of course Alborough uses ordinary, familiar, often disposable material from our industrial urban world, using an often blindingly simple syntax of addition and subtraction to liquidate our more comfortable perceptual habits and conceptual routines. He remakes the found, readymade world by hand in order to make other worlds."
A catalogue for the exhibition is available online at www.alanalborough.co.za and can also be viewed as part of the show. All the permutations of the tour are documented here, including an essay in response to the show in each venue, any press coverage as well as visitors' comments and feedback. An extensive archive of the artist's work is also available.
Visitors to the show are encouraged to record their responses and these are regularly uploaded onto the web site. Online comment is also possible when visiting the site.
Alborough, born in 1964 in Durban, was educated in Johannesburg. He graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand in 1991 with a BA Fine Arts degree and went on to complete his MA in 1997 at Goldsmiths College, University of London. He lives in Cape Town and is a senior lecturer in Fine Arts at the University of Stellenbosch.
A full CV is available online at www.alanalborough.co.za/bio.html