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Travel Tip: Art and Archaeology in South Africa
Jane Alexander: Infantry with beast (2008-10)

Jane Alexander: <EM>Infantry with beast (2008-10)</EM>
Jane Alexander: Infantry with beast (2008-10)
Jane Alexander: Infantry with beast (2008-10)
JOHANNESBURG  •  Michael Stevenson Contemporary  •  Ongoing

Survey: Cape of Good Hope (2005-9), a series of 54 black-and-white manipulated photographs and photomontage images combined in a large-scale slideshow sequence, will be installed in the first gallery. The images, leading from the rural areas of the Western Cape into the city of Cape Town, refer to historical markers and the postcolonial environment. These include land as a resource, repository and site of human presence, habitation, conflict and migration, considering the social environment in the context of visible economic polarities, endemic violence and the picturesque landscape. Alexander sees this series as a contextual backdrop against which the origin of her sculptured figures can be considered.

The large sculptural installation Infantry with beast (2008-10), comprising a phalanx of 27 marching hybrid figures on a red carpet with a small dog-like creature, are on view in the second, long gallery. The work alludes to structured social organisation as in the military through which men and sometimes boys are constrained to a system of physical and psychological control by an unaccountable authority, with the appearance of the parading figures reminiscent of African wild dogs. The work refers to the hunting strategies of the wild dog or Lycaon pictus, 'cursorial hunters' which live in socialised hierarchical packs of about 20 members, bound by systems of co-dependence and co-operation, not unlike the military.

Alexander was born in 1959 in Johannesburg, and lives in Cape Town where she is a professor at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town.

Michael Stevenson Contemporary Website

Contact: Buchanan Building
160 Sir Lowry Road
Woodstock 7925
South Africa

Tel: (27) 21 462 15 00

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