Mail & Guardian, June 13 to 19 2003
Art pick of the week
By Chris Roper
Reviewing Alan Alborough's Standard Bank Young Artist show in 2000, I wrote: "His show is opaque and inscrutable, and forces you to torture your brain for references, for emotional clues, for half-remembered insights."
It seems Alborough hasn't strayed far form this modus operandi. His current show, work[ing/in] pro[cess/gress], looks to be as dense, elliptical and enjoyable. It reaches its midpoint on June 14, and builds to a climax on July 24. Perhaps climax is the wrong word for an end that the artist describes as "an imitable and yet undefinable outcome", and a "seemingly intangible goal".
The way this journey is achieved is described as "a proves-orientated work that has been subtly mutating, slowly occupying and articulating the architectural aperture on the gallery's mezzanine level. This display of the process and progress of his creative procedure affords a rare glimpse at the mechanics behind the artist's work. This site was used by Alborough during last year's Month of Photography, when he constructed a massive pin and string art oculus.
"Revisiting this site, Alborough has again drawn from the lexicon of craft art and children's activities and is developing an elaborate take on the old and familiar technique of ‰¥ùFrench knitting'.
"A series of children's workshops have been held, the evidence of which is a counterpoint to the involved and complex manipulations seen in the main gallery."
You're going to have to make more than one visit to catch the nuances of his creative progress. If you're going to pick an auspicious occasion for a first visit, go at 1pm on June 14, when there will be a function to mark the show's mid-point. And if you want to see samples of his work, visit www.alanalborough.co.za.