Asha Zero

"Untitled" / Edition 06 / SOLD OUT

ASHA ZERO (b. 1975) is an artist based in Cape Town, South Africa. Recent exhibitions include 'Winner in Hawaii' at Outlet (2004), 'Macro Soda Text Hits' at 34 Long Fine Art, Cape Town (2009) and 'Micro Cluster Picnic' at Rooke Gallery, Johannesburg (2011).

artwork

How would you describe what you do?

I make 'collage-style' paintings.

How do you create these paintings?

I collect images from magazines and the internet and then come up with a basic composition on my computer. Since the work is hand-painted, I then shift back to creating textures and surfaces to prepare a surface onto which the selected images will be rendered, based on the computer 'collage template'. Once I have a basic feel of the piece and composition, I allow for accidental marks and image generation, and from there I simply allow it to grow.

What role does craft play in your work?

Craft is a key component. In fact, the concept is based on it.

What do you mean by that?

Well, I don't work in collage – I work with the idea of collage. I'm interested in the methods of sampling and translation and the re-interpretation of found material. These images are paintings, but paintings made to resemble collages. Printed, pixilated, highly mediated, mass media images are translated into the medium of acrylic paint. I enjoy the "building blocks" nature of collage. It's sort of like Dadaist Lego.

How did you approach this project?

A surfboard can be seen as an iconic, even mythical object due to its roots in a rich tradition of culture heroes, trickster-like figures and folklore. The ceremonial construction and decoration of a surfboard in traditional Polynesian cultural practice sets the stage for the surfboard to become an instrument in the development of a mythopoeic narrative. As an icon, it forms part of, as well as shapes, cultural discourse. Within the age of interactive multi-platform communication, this discourse manifests itself as a cross-cultural assemblage or pastiche – particularly in subcultures like surfboarding, where the eclectic use of icons, narratives and illustration styles overlaps with 'outsider' or 'lowbrow' art movements. The philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari describe this discourse as a type of "schizophrenic" storytelling that forms part of the process of creating a "Body without Organs". In a culture dominated by the movement of information, the surfboard can be seen as a memetic vessel and a part of this "Body", as a carrier and replicator of complex social identity.

What similarities are there between your practice and Spider Murphy's shaping?

We wear shorts at work.

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