Alice Peach grew up in a house with a circular dining table. Lacking a physical and material head of the table, she sat around a world without hierarchies, one that ends right where it begins.
Alice’s temporary fixation with apples is a reiteration of the dining table. Originally inspired by the supermarket aesthetics of Italian chain Esselunga and its apple-based packaged products, Alice thoroughly analyses the apple as both object and icon, exploring a variety of perspectives – drawings, sculptures, maquettes, ready-mades, etc. In the process of breaking it down into fragments, Alice undermines not just the fruit itself, but the conventions of representation, ultimately condemning the fruit to flatness. She trumpets idealised visions, to come to a recalibration of the relationship between signifier and signified, the idea and its representation, the word and the object, the origin and the consequence.
The word “apple” was originally used to describe any kind of fruit and was later associated with the idea of evil because of a mistranslation in the Bible. At its core, it is a coincidence of opposites, a contradiction. Exhausted by centuries of representations and graphic re-adaptations, iconography makes ‘the apple’ the ultimate generic and specific subject matter. The ‘thing’ we refer to as «apple» and the word we associate with it, bear no logical relationship with one another. Yet, the two are inseparable. Contradiction, it seems, is inscribed in the apple’s nature, as it is not even a ‘fruit’ in the first place - in fact it classifies, in biological terms, as ‘accessory fruit’ or ‘pseudo-fruit’ (ironically also pointing to its luscious nature). Furthermore, apples are ’deciduous’ in that they arbitrarily fall to the ground when they are ripe enough. Wisdom and vanity hanging from the same branch.
‘Apple is somersault is apple’ presents a selection of Alice’s attempts to break down the symbol of symbols - in the pursuit of the surprise that occurs when objects eventually transform into new versions of themselves through repetition (re-production, iteration). In doing so, Alice draws the apple from the consumerist context, and into the consuming question it poses about representation, appropriation, desire, denial, weight, and weightlessness.
Wordplay in the work titles (such as ‘of discord, of the eye’, ‘not far from the tree’ or ‘Avoidant, Vacant, Vane, Wanted’) refer to the etymology of the word ‘apple’, to its use, and to its metaphorical interpretations. Embedded propositions in the work are simple and primordial, they look back to the roots of the concepts Alice deals with - tendency that is further found in her use of mass produced, modular materials (mostly wooden sticks and cardboard coasters), which provide infinite transformative potential in asking matter to betray exactly what she needs it to say, in any given moment. An endlessly generative and essential toolbox.
Number 28 recurs across the works on show in reference to the days Alice spent in residency in Vishovgrad. By adding the dimension of time to her process, she looks to elude its mathematical rigidity. She appropriates conventions (e.g., dividing the day into 3 sections), she operates in repetition (e.g., by placing equidistant pencil leads on ice cream sticks acting as clock hands), and she tests the objects’ resistance to space (e.g., the same piece is folded to a close on the floor, or rolled open on the wall).
When stepping back, she indulges in centripetal research, questioning the origins of her obsession, fretting over answers she cannot find, and resorting to scientific explanations for non-empirical problems (e.g., watching quantum physics documentaries during breakfast). Eventually, she concludes, science cannot predict the glitches which she longs for, and therefore error and play may be the only generators of true surprise: she somersaults and ends up exactly where she started. Fixing the problem she created for herself.
This process is centrifugal because its radial outward force only apparently leads to an acceleration or change. In fact, it is a merry-go-round reference frame, revolving, mostly, around one question: how are cause and effect linked?
Let’s go back to the circular table: apple is Alice is apple is somersault is apple.
- Allegra Baggio Corradi, 20 August 2023
Alice Peach (b. 1996, Bari) is an Italian/English artist currently based in Milan. She holds a Bachelor degree in Fine Arts from Gerrit Rietveld Academie, in Amsterdam. Her work was recently exhibited in venues including Castiglioni (Milan); Salotto Studio (Milan) Associazione Barriera (Turin); Gebaeude501 (Berlin); Studio Hanniball (Berlin), and Haka Gebouw (Rotterdam)
Allegra Baggio Corradi is a researcher and publisher at Shibboleth in Milan, Italy, a platform for paper-based productions operating as a social cooperative and investigating language through books and installations.
The exhibition is supported by Tequila Bar Fnky Mnky.