Surveys (From the Cape of Good Hope)
An exhibit by Jane Alexander at the Contemporary Art Museum Houston
Jane Alexander’s hybrid mutants speak to the porous borders between humans and other forms of animal life. Alexander acts as a surveyor mapping the forces, interests, and passions at play in human behavior. Her sculptures, installations, and photomontages are firmly rooted in her South African experience. They also transcend their locality, revealing the disparity felt every day around the world between the rhetoric of peace and decorum and the human capacity for oppression and violence.
“These issues would be particularly accessible to an American audience because of our common histories of discrimination and segregation,” Alexander told the Savannah Morning News in March, “and the continued presence of and the lack of resolution of their legacy.”
I really enjoyed Alexander’s exhibit today! I really wish I could have gotten a good picture of her installation Security, a rectangular space with two chain fences topped with razor wire holding inside a bird-like statue. In between the fences lays thousands of rusted machetes and used red, rubber gloves. It was fantastic.
These pieces do a great job of exposing the fine line between the person and the animal, the civilized and the wild.