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South African Artist Jane Alexander's Surveys (From the Cape of Hope).

South African artist Jane Alexander has long had a penchant for mutant sculptures. Over her four-decade-career, she has created a host of hybrid characters, imagined from the bodies of human beings and the heads and limbs of baboons, rabbits, and jackals. Her ghostly humanoid creations are firmly rooted in her South African experience, but Alexander has focused on the universal themes apparent in her latest installation. “These issues would be particularly accessible to an American audience because of our common histories of discrimination and segregation,” she told The Savannah Morning News.

Alienation is clearly a primary theme of Alexander's art. Not only do her frightening hybrids demonstrate an easily perceived desperateness, but the ambiguity of the monsters pushes the viewer to sense their otherness in relation to them. Even the photo-collages created by the artist seem to communicate this alienation, as the familiar muscular forms and costumes of the beings clash with their carnal faces, amounting to a heightened sense of what doesn't belong. It's a feeling that Alexander experienced growing up amidst the social injustice inflicted by apartheid laws. Yet while her work addresses the oppression she witnessed in her home country, it reveals only the entrenched complexities of the time period, portraying motionless animal-human blends that appear simultaneously as victims and aggressor.



Images from the Installation at The Cathedral Of St. John the Divine, July, 2013