Alexandre da Cunha: 'Duplex,' Brighton CCA, Brighton, England
Exhbition dates: 6 August - 2 October 2021
Brighton CCA is pleased to present Duplex an exhibition of new works by Brazilian artist Alexandre da Cunha curated in collaboration with Jenni Lomax. This is the artist’s first solo presentation in a UK public institution for 10 years.
Duplex is an articulation of da Cunha’s engagement with cultures of consumption, reuse, materiality and art history. Central to da Cunha’s practice is the ready-made and specifically, how perceptions of objects are affected by place, time and the results of labour. Da Cunha’s complex and subtle process of transforming materials and images create encounters with everyday objects that disentangle the instinctive responses inherent to particular materials, endowing the works with alternative modes of understanding; so cotton becomes marble, mops become tapestry, construction tools become mysterious relics and mundane objects echo art historical precedents. The result is a vibrant dialogue about the history and function of symbols and material in society, from park benches and umbrellas to cement mixers and beach towels.
The presentation echoes the form of a processional route through the galleries, so visitors encounter objects and motifs presented and revisited much as the artist approaches objects and materials in his work. In this respect the exhibition speaks to its location; resonating with connections to a familiar past. Visible from the gallery windows is Brighton’s North Gate, a stone arch built for the royal procession to pass through at the opening of the Brighton Pavilion, while each year the Brighton Pride march – the largest in country – also passes in front of the gallery windows. Duplex engages with these histories as movements through time and culture of the city; reappropriating old signifiers and embracing a more contingent, yet confident present.
In June, as a precursor to Duplex, da Cunha will launch Brighton CCA’s inaugural Summer Commission, with a public artwork that will be on display until August. This is will be the first artwork in a series of annual temporary public commissions by invited artists to be held each summer.