Interview: artist Alex Dordoy on new show persistencebeatsresistance
'You're playing with the idea that these objects are trying to create an environment'
There's a sense of delving into the past in Alex Dordoy's upcoming show at Inverleith House. Instead of the intense, photorealistic paintings he has exhibited recently, for this show the GSA graduate has returned to painting on objects. He has been working with items including an old photocopier, from which he has taken a series of silicon 'skins'.
'It's not obvious where they're from or what they are; they're just these ghostly, fleshy objects,' he notes. 'There's something weirdly charming about photocopiers and there's also something quite human about them.'
Dordoy also brings something of his own past into the show, casting a work from a bust of Karl Marx that his father, a retired sociology lecturer, carved when he was in his twenties. 'It was in my house when I was a kid; I grew up with it there. You can see the chisel marks in the bust and how dad's done it: there are traces of his action on the surface.' Dordoy has reproduced four of the Marx heads to create 'a kind of a weird totem pole' which, like the photocopier, explores ideas about reproduction and the afterlife of objects.
Also on show will be a series of intricate jadeite plinths, based on the patterns used on ancient artefacts found on Chinese graves. These are, he says, 'an inversion. Instead of the object taking the time to make, it's the plinth'. All the objects will be placed against a backdrop of wall paintings which, Dordoy says, make the space more inclusive. 'It's important not just to make objects that people feel distant to, but to create a situation that people can feel a part of. With a wall painting, you're playing with the idea that these objects are trying to create an environment, and the viewer is part of that.'
Inverleith House, Edinburgh, Sat 18 Jan–Sun 30 Mar.