AboutAlma Enterprises is proud to present The Perpetual Set-up a solo show by British artist Alex Baggaley. The exhibition marks a new strategy for the artist which involves the use of oil on canvas to bring together the seemingly disparate elements of his practice, from performance, sculpture, painting and drawing, as a series of documentary paintings.
A considerable part of Baggaley's amorphous and experimental practice has tended to manifest itself in potent temporary materializations of ideas, realised through performance (solo and collaborative), dance collaborations, spoken word, improvisations with sounds and props. These have taken place in different settings, some spontaneous, some planned, in galleries, private spaces, the outdoors. Some take place in front of an audience, others just happen; simple actions and interventions that deliberately place the artist as the protagonist, on the margins, exposed and at risk. The visible evidence of these materializations exist now only as documentation; ad hoc digital video recordings, hastily snatched photographs.
At a simple level, the paintings capture, in randomly selected freeze-frame veracity, these moments; a solitary figure crouched in an improvised dance posture, a precarious makeshift construction of geometric forms, a reconstruction of a Dymaxion map in progress; two figures working in tense opposing symmetry; the lens of documentation consistently mediating the source imagery, each canvas a representation and re-working of digital reproductions of elements of the original work in progress. The revisiting and re-working a signature characteristic of a creative process in perpetual motion.
In the conjuring of these works and implicitly in the use of oil on canvas, Baggaley seeks to give authority, permanence and significance to certain recurring elements, motifs and ideas. It is a re-examination of his conscious and unconscious ideas and his role as an artist, an attempt to question and make sense of his work.
Text by Siobhan Wootton
Alex Baggaley has worked in sculpture, installation, performance, moon-gazing, film, collage, painting, and drawing. He has also worked in collaboration with, amongst others, the US choreographer/dancer Paige Martin and as one half of the group 'P1orn'. He lives in London and has shown and performed internationally at venues such as PAD Gallery, Preston, Alma Enterprises, London, spacestationsixtyfive, London, The Kitchen, New York, Citylights, Melbourne, and Thread Waxing Space, New York. In 2009 he was nominated for the Paul Hamlyn Award.