Right After SunsetMuse Talk with Alexander James

Photography Sophie Green
Interview Cecilia Alba Luè

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Alexander James in his studio.

 

I use my practice as a day-to-day diary where I document my process to explain positions I’ve been in and scenarios that I wasn’t able to work out at the time.

CL How would you present your art?
AJ I’m always finding new ways to present my artwork, especially when it comes to exhibitions. I tend to work heavily with installations; it triggers most of my ideas. As I said, I’m often looking for new ways to present my work, it usually depends on the context of what’s being exhibited and the space I’m working with. A good starting point is combining ideas I’ve used in the past and mix them with new concepts. Detail is by far the most important thing when it comes to presentation; I brainstorm for long periods of time making sense of what I’ve created, where I’m currently at and what exactly it is I’m trying to do with it. Sometimes it works instantly and other times it’s a very long tedious process. However, the part that doesn’t work is also a very important one of the process, because it pushes me to dig far deeper and find something that I was completely not exposed to. Working across different mediums allows me to tackle this from different angles, which later through installations creates an atmosphere that I was searching for.
CL Where do your inspirations come from?
AJ I find a lot through memories, either older or recent memories and situations I’ve encountered. I use my practice as a day-to-day diary where I document my process to explain positions I’ve been in and scenarios that I wasn’t able to work out at the time. I will use disguises as characters in my works and play largely with the titles of my works by crossing words like a puzzle. There actually are a lot of connections, but I guess it’s my way of containing stories that I’m still not ready to share. Other sources of my inspirations are films; a lot of which I watched with my grandfather. A portion of ideas also come from my traveling, especially when I’m in scenic and open environments and I’m not thinking about anything at all.
CL How does your British heritage relate to California?
AJ Since a significant part of my work is combining elements from memories and locations, the fact that I feel California more than a lot of places, is very important in my process. I spent quite a bit of time there, 2 years ago.

 

  Read the full interview on MUSE 54