Alexander Kennedy talks to Alex Frost about his upcoming show at the Tramway
Alexander Kennedy What work will you be showing at the Project Room?
Alex Frost I’m showing two billboard scale mosaics (6 x 12 foot), one is being shown in the project room, the other is going outside on a wall in the hidden gardens. On one of the panels is a large image of the HDDVD logo (in the project room) on the other is the Blu-ray logo (in the hidden gardens). They are essentially one piece of work.
AK Can you tell us about the ‘format wars’ that the title of your show refers to?
AF The title ‘Format Wars’ refers to the many competitions between electronic media formats that have occurred over the years - remember the VHS and Beta war in the early 1980s? It’s not meant as a comment on these specific two formats, I’m genuinely interested in the way that this competition is panning out.
AK Your work seems to be mostly self-portraits. Why have you decided to focus on this genre?
AF Yes, you’re right, I’ve made quite a few self-portraits in recent years. But essentially the main consistent element in my work is to do with the contradiction between the handicraft processes that I use and the references to technology.
AK Why do you use the medium of mosaic, and how does this relate to the idea of ‘format wars’?
AF I made my first mosaic sculpture in 1999. For me it relates to the well-intentioned community projects that I was subjected to as a teenager in north London in the late 1980s. There’s also an aspect of the process that makes it quite simple to understand, and yet it can also be seen to refer to digital imagery. I’m doing a show called ‘Adults’ at Galerie Sandra Bürgel, which opens on Saturday 23 June. For this exhibition I’m showing some mosaics which refer to adult sophistication. These works contrast a playful process like mosaic-making with representations of processed food stuffs like Ryvita, Twinings tea and After-Eight mints. The use of the two format wars logos is an extension of this idea.
Project Room, Tramway, Glasgow, Sun 8 Jul-Sun 5 Aug.