February 5 – 28, 2010
Alasdair Duncan has been described as making ‘post-pop Prouns’ - referring to El Lissitzky’s term related as an abbreviation of “design for the confirmation of the new”, or as "the station where one changes from painting to architecture". Duncan’s “signs for the future” (or designs for such) are stand-ins, signifying things that do not yet exist, which are not yet imagined. Duncan produces color-saturated graphics applied across a variety of media, including wall paintings, banners, gouache, and prints on paper or in vitreous enamel on steel.
Duncan is interested in making art that reflects an expansive, confident and optimistic outlook, that the world as it is now can be made different and better. At a time when the future is represented in terms of fears rather than opportunities, when a catastrophic end to the world is easier to imagine than the progressive enactment of substantively new, different and better ways of living. Duncan’s work manifests the hope of real affirmative social and material conditions of possibility that exist now, but which are beyond our view from the state of affairs in which we now find ourselves.
Duncan’s pieces are titled in the language of ‘Je Zaum’. Zaum being the name of the language coined by the Russian Futurist poets Velimir Khlebnikov and Alexei Krucheykh, it is a combination of the Russian prefix за “beyond, behind” and the noun ум “the mind, nous”. Zaum is described as a universal language, a language of indeterminate meaning that stands in for thoughts yet to be conceived. Duncan describes the term Je as indicating something akin to ‘new’ in Je Zaum.
Alasdair Duncan is a graduate of the Royal Academy School Post Graduate program, and received a BA from Goldsmiths College.
View a video presentation of the exhibition below.