Cass Sculpture Foundation

Alex Hoda: Whirlwind

Despite the figurative associations of whirlwind, its physical shape is firmly grounded in abstraction. Where its title and form are suggestive of a very obvious, concrete thing, its method of production is actually the result of a random, abstracting process.


‘Whirlwind’ is part of a series of works by Hoda that are created using a new method of production. The starting point for this sculpture is molten copper, which Hoda pours into water to force a reaction that solidifies the material. The result of this process is a miniature, curious, lump of metal that is then digitally scanned and enlarged --finally cast and finished with a raw copper surface. ‘Whirlwind’ is the largest commission from this series of works.


The conceptual element of this process harks back to the surrealist method of automatism, which encouraged an element of chaos by 'dissolving all control exercised by reason,' as stated by its founder, Andre Breton. Removing himself as the immaculate author of the content of this work, Hoda has allowed the automatic methods of surrealism to govern the piece. In ‘Whirlwind’, the bulbous forms and protrusions seem to mimic bone, flesh and organs, further referencing the anthropomorphic figures often found in surrealist work.


‘Whirlwind’ captures the frenetic energy and the random construction of a real-life whirlwind. Its organic and intricate structure constantly transforms as different shapes and views seem to emerge - resulting in fragments and abstractions that almost, but never quite, resolve into recognizable forms. This quest for form gives energy to the work, and for the viewer, turns looking into an active process.

January 25, 2013