Laissez-faire - Camden Art Centre

For his exhibition in Gallery 3 Brazillian artist Alexandre da Cunha bought together a series of new works completed during his residency at Camden Art Centre earlier in 2009.

Da Cunha’s dynamic, large-scale sculptures improvise on the concept of the readymade by reusing everyday objects: job lots from pound shops, surplus fabrics and recycled goods, reflecting on their specific histories and aesthetics. His work often deals with the wider concern of the human condition, commenting on the distribution of wealth in his native Brazil. Laissez-faire combined mop heads with coconut casts and functions both as sculpture and social space.

His work often employs craft-based techniques, collaborating with wool spinners and dyers for example, to transform his materials from their humble beginnings into sculptural objects. Yet throughout this process the materials maintain a definite sense of their original identity. Their inexpensive nature combines with the contingent, apparently casual functionality of the sculptures themselves, suggesting a wider critique of a world built upon the cheap and the disposable. With these objects, da Cunha uses plinths or pedestals to examine classical ideas of presentation and the relationship to where the piece begins or ends.

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