Jane Alexander: Surveys (from the Cape of Good Hope)
The Cathedral of St. John the Divine , New York, United States 18 Apr 2013 - 29 Jul 2013
This is the first major North American survey of tableaux, sculptures, and photomontages by the South African artists Jane Alexander.
While Alexander’s figures are, in many ways, emblems of monstrosity, they are oddly beautiful. Her creatures expose the human animal for all it is and all it could become. Though clearly concerned with social issues, Alexander’s sculptural installations and photographs do not judge, nor do they convey a particular political or moral standpoint. “There is no glorification of human misery here, only recognition of human tenacity and will, dignity among the wretched, a hint of the thread that connects us all and beyond.” (Ash Amin, On Being Human)
Alexander’s artworks have a formal and technical excellence and deliver a potent emotional impact, sending warnings about historical consequences and carrying hints of things to come. Consistent with the artist’s creative process, the curatorial concept of this exhibition will be re-defined in each venue, with the artist, the guest curator, Pep Subiros, and the host venue working in close collaboration. Adjusted to the environment and architecture of each location, the exhibition becomes site-specific, allowing figures and tableaux to participate in the process of transformation. Local audiences will experience, with immediacy, the familiarity and mutability of Alexander’s universe.
The show is organized by the Museum of African Art, New York, and presented in collaboration with The Cathedral of St John the Divine. Guest curated by Pep Subiros, writer and director of Gao lletres. An illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition, edited by Pep Subiros with contributions by Jane Alexander, Ashraf Jamal, Kobena Mercer, Simon Njami, Pep Subiros, and Lize van Robbroeck.
A conversation with Pep Subirós on the art of Jane Alexander takes place on 2o April, St. James Chapel at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York.