A L E X A N D E R K N O X
The Cannibal and the Missionary
'Automatic' sculptures from the 'psychological block set'
With this new work Knox continues to explore psychotherapeutic self-analysis via the ‘automatic’ arrangement of a series of solid beech anthropomorphic modules. His resultant table sculptures play out the staging of psycho-social propositions and manifest unconscious scenarios.
| Collective motivation is exemplified by mob spirit, group cooperation, customs and laws. Group consciousness and ego consciousness are mutually antagonistic: when one is strong, the other is weak. Yet it is difficult to analyse the aetiology of possible conflict contributing to art instinct motivations. Under ordinary circumstances of human conduct (which is a product of all drive-motivations, largely unconscious), the ego and sex instinct motivations accept the advantages of the group motivations without conflict. It appears, however, that the motivations for the art instinct at once run counter to group motivations whereas the products of the art instinct seek acknowledgement from those same group motivations. The origins of this contradiction are moreover thoroughly obscured by the products themselves. Even when clear themes emerge, it is difficult not to suspect that they have been deliberately concocted as a lure or misdirection for the analyst. |
Extract from — A Brief Analysis of Case Notes on Things I'm Working Through * Catalogue essay by Professor Justin Clemens for Alexander Knox’s “Things I'm Working Through” Murray White Room 2015
*NB. Phrases of the current ‘Case Notes’ have been adapted from J.C. Yaskin, ‘The Psychobiology of Anxiety—a Clinical Study,’ The Psychoanalytic Review, No 24S (1937), pp. 49-93.
Running from Thursday the 12th of November until Saturday the 5th of December
*The ‘cannibal and the missionary’ and the related ‘jealous husband’ problem are classic river crossing puzzles that are a part of the larger ‘toy’ problem solving technique.
Alexander Knox is represented by Murray White Room
Image: The Cannibal and The Missionary (detail). 2015. Solid Beech.
1400mm x 650mm x 300mm.
Courtesy the artist and Murray White Room
Photo courtesy of Christian Capurro.