ARTIST:

Alexandra Bircken

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Alexandra Bircken
Drape, 2007
wood, concrete, cloth, wax, screws, wire & steel
240 x 300 x 236cm

Alexandra Bircken’s unmonumental stretcher frame sculptures are informed by her background in fashion design and interest in the radical aspects of handmade culture. A fragmentary array of irregular objects and organic shapes, often coloured by the artist, is hung and displayed on strings and aluminium rods.

Alexandra Bircken
Unit 1 (and detail), 2008
Coated aluminium, aluminium rods, polyurethane foam, fabric, wool
Frame: 140 x 220 cm Base: 80 x 185 cm

Embedded and held aloft as if on a weaver’s loom, lowly materials such as found tree trunks, slices of Styrofoam, building offcuts and thin cloth swatches (seen in Unit 1, Unit 3 and Unit 4, all 2008) are reincarnated as a new kind of artwork, twisting traditional painting and sculpture into icons of vernacular art and craft.

Alexandra Bircken
Unit 3 (and detail), 2008
Coated aluminium, copper, brass, wire, roots, stones, acrylic paint, spray paint, cardboard, mortar, branches, tomato panicle, steel, concrete, wax, oilcloth, tangerine, apple cores, screws
Frame: 220 x 140 cm Base: 185 x 80 cm

Alexandra Bircken
Unit 4 (and detail), 2008
Coated aluminium, branches, plastic tube, acrylic paint, stone slices, bread, wire, screws
Frame: 140 x 220 cm Base: 185 x 80 cm

The detritus, wool, reedy trunks and rags that find their way into Bircken’s grids are reminiscent of the temporary architectures and all-incorporating make-do of alternative communities on the margins of mainstream society. The weaving and crafting involved in her method additionally brings to mind 1960s and ’70s feminist art politics.

When shown together, her works can appear as a radical lifestyle Gesamtkunstwerk. ‘I am interested in dismantling prevailing hierarchies of value regarding these objects and materials by way of connecting them, thus putting them in a new context to each other. It’s an alternative system or cycle.’

Alexandra Bircken
Fusion, 2007
Wood, painted fabric, pigmented wax
92 x 21 x 13.3cm

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