Alex Frost: Reproduction (3 stars)

Alex Frost: Reproduction

credit: Courtesy the artist, Glasgow Print Studio; © Alan Dimmick

Astute, creative comment on the commodification of human reproduction, part of Glasgow International

The birth rate in Britain has leapt 18% in the last decade. That means, in statistical terms, we’re in the midst of a baby boom. Alex Frost uses this as a playful stepping-off point to explore issues of reproduction, human and artistic, in his solo show for Glasgow International.

A print studio is, of course, the ideal place for this. Continuing an interest in packaging, he creates large beanbag-like packets of Pampers and Huggies, and boxes of pregnancy and conception vitamin pills encased in resin. These are interspersed with ‘screen-rubbings’ of Walker Evans’ photographs of Alabama sharecroppers, images reproduced and reappropriated many times through the artistic generations. Even the opaque black film applied to the windows is, he tells us a might unnecessarily, a reproduction.

Most interesting are his sculptures: an agglomeration of boobs and penises from novelty mugs, which starts to look like a contemporary fertility god, and a sculpture made of sand impregnated with the maternal bonding hormone Oxytocin (purchased online as a spray called ‘Liquid Trust’). These are astute, creative comments on how the private process of human reproduction has become commodified, though whether the metaphor can be extended to originality in art is more problematic.

Glasgow Print Studio, until Sun 18 May.