Traversing through performance, video, sound and the manifestation of self, artist Alasdair Ambrose embraces the exploration of controversial real life events and perception of the world. Alasdair’s current work surrounds the ideas of identity and the struggle of the personal perception of the internal and external view of self. Alasdair describes his practice as “A series of performances and installations titled altercations. Looking at the intangible qualities of reality through the concept of cut and paste to reconfigure perceptions of tangible information.” In a recent artist talk Alasdair expressed that art can be utilised to spark debate, touching on Brexit, Grenfell Tower and the societal ‘want’ for action but being lost in the political agenda.
ALTERCATION SERIES !!!
The Altercation Series explores the notions of Myth, Apocalypse, and contemporary culture as informed by the relics of the past and thus becomes another informer of its own making. The project utilises the mediums of traditional collage, performance and moving image, to assemble historical narratives of myth and destruction that collide together in a multi formatted collection of works to suggest the idea of fragility within the constructs of history.
Altercation: 34, is a documented journey for a new entity emerging. A nameless masked figure rips apart page after page of books whilst a hum of noise meditates within the room. Filled with anxiety the figure attempts to build a tower out of the remnants of pages, only to continually fail at what it set out to achieve.
Altercation: 34, Performance NTU Project Space (28/09/2017)
The Altercation series offers an engagement with an evolving project that basses itself around the notion of Armageddon within multiple aspects of contemporary and historical culture. These works are a preliminary study of ritual destruction through a cut and paste working method. Which utilises found imagery from history books, that have focused on ancient civilisations, geography, industrialisation, religious ideologies and magical cultures.
Choosing these historic materials, Alasdair intends to demonstrate the assemblage of his- tory through a physical process of alterations, the artist has dubbed Altercation. Where the intent is to offer a source point of visual material that would act like a public disturbance through the gesture of reconfiguring history. Exposing the multiplicity behind how history is constructed, and how there is the potential of alteration from the original events.
Alasdair Is a Nottingham based artist currently studying an MFA in Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University. His practice utilises the mediums of Film, Sound and performance to create multi-sensory insulations that consider the impact, mass information has upon the construction of history, and the human condition.
For more examples of Alasdair’s work please visit his profiles on YouTube and Instagram Alternatively if you wish to contact the artist do so from the following address.
Degeneration!!! is an observation of a changing political landscape. The multi layered performative instillation, follows a collection of found material sauced from online file sharing sites, that consider the idea of Degeneracy and race throughout a selected time frame. Degeneration!!! ruminates over the ideological Rivers of Blood speech, delivered in Birmingham April the 20th 1968, by the conservative MP Enoch Powel. Amidst the excess of layered information within the visual tiers of moving imagery, Degeneration follows the lineage of Powel’s speech to the recent display of propaganda within the ranks of politicians in 2016s European Union Referendum, and the continuing development of new political parties within British politics and the growing division within the UK.
Plague utilises the idea of mutation and viral infection as a process to alter the perceptions of constructed language. The practices utilise within this piece are based in performance, sound and the spoken word to Interrogate the human condition through a process of acquiring historic documents through internet file sharing networks. Collaging the footage together to produce an almost viral infection of sensory information.
This project thematically runs parallel with the controversy over David Wojnarowicz’s Film ‘A Fire in My Belly’ (1986-1987) and the Smithsonian institutes removal of this work from its exhibition, Hide/ Seek: Different and desires in American Portraiture (2010). The Narrative of Plague follows the events of this controversy whilst going back to the outbreak of the HIV epidemic of the 1980s. Following a lineage of found documented video footage. Plague explores the power struggles and consequences of this epidemic that still resonates today.
collected documentation of Degenoration Performance, Nottingham Contemporary 11-14 may 2017
Degeneration: A001 was a performance where the artist construct a ceremonial garment of white material. The artist blindly stitched the tattered fragments of white cloth around itself with Blue, Red and Yellow thread. Whilst the artist absorbs a collection of carefully sourced YouTube videos that follow the roots of Caribbean culture and the development of the changing working classes within Briton.
Degeneration: A001 took place at NTU Fine Art studios, and was a private performance for video capture. The material was developed into an experimental film where the basis was to produce a hypnotic study of form and colour, saturated with an excessive amount of visual and audible information.
Degeneration: A002 Took place at Nottingham Contemporary’s Aftermath Exhibition May 2017. A002s premise was for the artist to stand still like a statue of marble for 2hours, submerged in the projected light and sound of the Degeneration film, whilst wearing the garment of white material produced in A001. After a period, the artist commences to cut the white cloth away from its self. Bit by bit with a razor blade, revealing its naked body marked with blood of the process. The artist proceeds to collect the fragments of cloth that have been shed, arraigning them neatly within the space. It commences to remove its self from the installation, leaving remnants of its self behind for the duration of the exhibition.
Degeneration came out of a responsive project between Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham Trent University and The University of Nottingham. As a group of artists, we were asked to develop artworks that would be informed by NC’s The Place is Here Exhibition Feb-May 2017. A display that explored the wealth of British artists, who searched through the social/political events of 1980s Briton,
Who formed there practice around developing new identity’s in what was still a developing multi-cultural Great Briton.
Focussing on a media storm that emerged in the 1970s regarding a 13-year-old girl who had been kept in almost complete isolation for the first 13years of her life. Feral? (2016) is a performative visual collage of recordings made by the artist over a period of 3 months. Following the narrative of Genie Wiley, classified to be a Feral Child, becoming a prize possession for linguistic academics who claimed that Genie was a missing link to the Theory of the Critical Period observed by Eric Lenneberg in the 1960s.
Feral? Was a project that was established out of morbid curiosity and sadness, and developed into reflective performances that followed a narrative of collected information, striping collected sentences taken from media sauces down to just 3 words blokes. The artist read out the word blokes whilst pacing up and down a darkened room holding a microphone, the only light source was two television monitors playing a collection of found footage that related to the notion of feral. Collectively the separate elements produced a droning hum of noise that drew the backdrop of the performance.
The 2nd Feral? Performance took the platform of silent mediation as the artist sits behind two television monitors stacked upon a moveable trolley. The artist is internalising the texts that has been developed in the previous performance. Silently reciting it and siting motionlessly cross legged on the floor for a period of time.