Sunday, October 28, 2007

Robin Rhode

"Stone Flag," by Robin Rhode, Collection of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, (Fund for the Twenty First Century), nine chromogenic color prints, each 12 1/16 x 18 1/16 inches, 2004

Performance is at the core of Robin Rhode's multimedia practice, which is often divided into the three categories of live performance, photography, and digital animation. Indeed, Rhode's performances, in which he is often the main actor, set the stage for a theatre of the absurd that incorporates drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, and music.

Some More Works

Rhode, who was born in Cape Town in 1976 and currently lives in Berlin, combines showmanship with social commentary, humor with art history, and urban poetry with artistic mastery. In the sketches he creates for make-believe stages before live audiences, in photographic series reminiscent of chronophotography, and in digital animations akin to flip-books, childhood memories and adolescent desires are constantly reworked into street-life scenes, playground games, and domestic activities.

In a fantasy world where second and third dimensions as well as vertical and horizontal planes are blurred, and where drawings stand in for actual objects, Rhode can ride a charcoal skateboard and invite audience members to join in, or entice children into playing games with chalk. His works are both personal evocations of his South African upbringing in the black community of the Cape and the urban jungle of Johannesburg and broader depictions of global youth subculture.