Whirlwind

2011
1 mm zinc, Copper with a bronze finish, Steel
225 x 100 x 100 cm
Edition of 3

Whilst seemingly poised at the intersection between figurative and abstract sculpture, Whirlwind in fact remains faithful to the Surrealist rejection of style, discontent with the categorization of objects. The basis of the work is a tiny volume of molten copper, solidified into a random shape by way of a chemical reaction with water. Through a precise digital scanning process, the lump of metal is then enlarged to create a giant rendering – finished in raw copper – of the original. This fabrication process removes any element of control the artist retains over the sculpture’s form, thereby enacting Andre Breton’s instruction in the manifesto of surrealism (1924) to dissolve, “all control exercised by reason, and all aesthetic and moral preoccupations”.

Whirlwind is the largest work in the series, entitled Type 1 Errors, which Hoda has made using this technique. Explaining: “I want my sculptures to appear to breathe, expand and contract like a human being or an animal”, his work investigates the external transposition of meaning onto objects. Here, the viewer is confronted with a forcefully emotive shape, which evokes simultaneously the gravitas of traditional sculptural forms, the weightless and transitory nature of the elements, and the ardent contortions of the body.

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About The Artist

Hoda's practice has evolved significantly from his initial figurative groupings of deformed, post-apocalyptic creatures, finished in his signature materials of latex and rubber. Imbued with a fetishistic aesthetic, these confrontational works often shocked the viewer into confronting their own fears, anxieties and fantasies; challenging them to question their fundamental understanding of love, sex, pride and death. These radical subjects belie the enduring themes the work explores and subvert the canon of classical sculpture in which he works.

In his most recent works Hoda makes reference to our ability to arrive at false premises by misinterpreting what is in front of us, due to the wealth of associations and pre-judgements automatically triggered by our subconscious. Hoda's writhing metal forms, at once suggestive and impenetrable, ask us to consider whether a 'Type One Error' of biased or predetermined reading occurs when interpreting abstract sculpture.

Hoda uses a technique of automatism to challenge the viewer's approach to figurative sculpture. His works recall a surrealist agenda, one that is summarised by Max Ernst's desire for 'the viewer to witness the emergence of the work'. In essence Hoda plays with the idea that what the viewer's sub-conscious brings to the sculpture ultimately determines its meaning.

Alex Hoda

Born: 1980

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Event

Alex Hoda's Chance Encounters

Including both new pieces and significant early works, Chance Encounters presents a survey of the work of British artist Alex Hoda.