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COLLAPSE (article first published : 2003-06-10)

Collapse is the title of an exhibition by Ledelle Moe due to be presented at the NSA Galleries in June.

Ledelle Moe is a South African artist living and working in the United States. She will present an installation of large-scale photographs of sculptures, two-dimensional works custom-designed and sized to fit exactly into the architecture of the gallery space.

This series of images will combine photographs of existing artwork and drawings, exploring the relationship between the different mediums and the different illusionistic and psychological spaces within each frame. The photographs contain images of sculptures by the artist. The drawings will be investigations into future sculptures.

The collapse of some monumental landmarks in the last year has added particular relevance to the ideas that Moe has been exploring for the last few years. The sculpture, Collapse was made on site in Queens, New York, and the backdrop for this photographed piece is the Manhattan skyline in New York City. The distinct change in the events of American history and the collapse of the twin towers provided a different backdrop and a changed political climate for the piece to exist in.

“Recently the collapse of the giant 108-foot statue of the Hindu God of Lord Krishna in India and the deliberate collapse of the bronze statue of Saddam Hussein have also reminded me of how the notions of permanence are challenged. Permanence and impermanence, strength and vulnerability are themes I continue to explore,” says Ledelle.

“Anthropomorphic symbolism of animals, common to so many stories and myths are vehicles to the unconscious and a means by which we may articulate and confront the darker sides of the human psyche,” she continues. “The animal image combined with the human, for me, represents not only the irrational non-verbal: a symbol of the unconscious, but also a vehicle for the expression of contradictory human emotions. My materials are rough and speak to a sense of decay behind the brutal show of strength. The violent treatment of the surfaces over exposed steel, refer both to power and powerlessness. It is my intention that my monumental "figures' - animal or human - reveal this vulnerability behind a brutal display of raw strength, redefining what it is to be 'heroic' through a critique of the monumental.”

Ledelle Moe was born in Durban in 1971. She studied at the Technikon Natal and graduated in 1993 and was a founding member of the FLAT Gallery, an alternative space in Durban. She left for the United States where she embarked on a period of study at the Virginia Commonwealth University Sculpture Department Masters Programme. Though Ledelle Moe remains strongly connected to South Africa, returning to visit annually, she has continued to live and work in the United States. She has exhibited widely in the States and elsewhere, including the Kulturehuset (Stockholm, Sweden) and The Washington Project for the Arts.

Collapse opens on June 10 at 18h00 and will remain on view until June 29.




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