Alex Trapani Ascending and Descending Artist | Art.co.za | Art in South Africa
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The Ascending and Descending Artist 01 - Repeat 2013

In The Ascending and Descending Artist 01 - Repeat, by Alex Trapani, there appears the elitist "high Art" symbol of the white sculpture base/plinth.

In this particular case, it becomes a quasi-substitute for the Penrose Stairs, the ever ascending and descending staircase.

Like M.C. Escher's "Ascending and Descending" (1960), in this video piece, the figure performs the same ritualistic actions in the hopes of a different result. Or, perhaps the repetitive behavior will assist him in holding on to the illusion of grandeur, respect or, popularity in the art world.

The recent events surrounding the monuments/statues that raise concerns of loss and gain around a colonialist history in South Africa come to mind. Should the statues be removed or not?

Newton's 3rd law of motion states, "for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction" (1687). It bares the question, can the idea of two forces pushing against each other in equal measure be applied to more than just physics? Is it just an illusions that a sense of preserved legacy, or states of immortality are sustainable? Perhaps it is not wrong to say, the way things appear are not always as they seem or, the power of perception trumps legitimacy.

Assisted by Matt Levings.


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