Joo’s bronze zebra, barely-identifiable in form, investigates perspectival value and the strangely subjective nature of identity. Concerned as much with the experiences of the art-making process as with the final aesthetic, the shape of Doppelganger (Pink Rocinante) derives from the mold used to cast an earlier sculpture. The preceding work, Stubbs (Absorbed) (2009), is based on George Stubbs’ strangely incongruous painting of a zebra within an English countryside setting (1762-63). For Joo, this particular animal – here presented with its skin flayed according to the pattern of its black stripes – acts as a symbol of binary opposites and mistaken identity.
The work’s title originates from the name of Don Quixote’s horse, Rocinante, in Cervantes’ seventeenth century masterpiece. The ‘decrepit old nag’ of the story is transformed into a ‘foremost’ steed, purely by his master’s disillusionment. Doppelganger similarly confounds the viewer’s expectations; Joo pitches the bubble-gum pink of the thick enamel against the industrial, mechanical structure of the mold’s exterior, concurrently confusing the viewer’s perception of the sculpture’s materials, the object’s identity, and the fabrication processes employed in its conception.