Alex Trapani Pre-tension: Celebration of Hypocrisy 2005 | | Art in South Africa
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Pre-tension: Celebration of Hypocrisy 2005 | The Premises Gallery Johannesburg

In March 2005, Alex Trapani will be holding his second solo exhibition at the Premises Gallery at the Civic Theatre in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

The exhibition will officially open on the 5th of March 2005 and closes on the 26th of March 2005.

Alex Trapani has appeared on many shows since his first solo exhibition in 1996: some larger group shows as well as the more "intimate", smaller 2 or 3 person exhibition. More recently he took part in The Ampersand Foundation Exhibition at Warren Siebrits Modern and Contemporary Gallery, Grime at Oudtshoorn KKNK, (out of) Community of Property at The Art Space, and Pure/Pop at Merely Mortal. These exhibitions took place in 2003.

What one would expect to see at Trapani’s exhibition at the Premises Gallery promises to be a very intriguing, challenging and hopefully enlightening experience. The exhibition deals with subliminal or essential form and ideas of the façade or appearance of things, how things try to appear perfect or truthful, the varying forms of justification, purity and perfection.

Trapani has taken key words and worked in and around them to produce the work. Words such as "Pretension" or "Pre-tension", "Hypocrite" or “Hypercritical”, “Hypotension” or “Hypertension” are relevant to the body of work.

"Hypo" speaks of beneath, under, below normal, sub, while “Hyper” speaks of over, beyond, above, superior.

"Tension" and "Critical" are the operative words that deal with opposite emotional values that work coherently when addressing certain contexts that are often disconcerting. For example, the viewing of an art exhibition. One is often found ‘being stretched’ in viewing art and this most often calls for critical analysis in reaching an understanding of the work presented. Trapani feels that when exhibiting he is asking the viewer to ‘read’ the work with a little attention and patience in the hope that the viewer will not feel cheated, so to speak. But in contrast, when the artist becomes the viewer he/she is often over/hyper-critical of the work presented. Does this make the artist a hypocrite of sorts?

As artists we present things based on how we would like them to be perceived but we battle with perceiving things in the way it was presented to us, as viewers: presentation versus perception.

Trapani's show reflects these states not only toward art and the ‘reading’ thereof, but to many areas of psychological activity and spiritual awareness. The art works play metaphorical roles in reflecting human responses, reactions, thinking processes and basic human avoidance or denial in every day life.

Press Photo


  • TENSION tightness, being stretched
  • TENSE stretched, tight, nervous, anxious, warlike
  • (pretext) excuse
  • (preserve) to keep/protect
  • (pretence) to make believe
  • (pretense) so as to deceive, making believe
  • PRETENTION claim
  • IN-TENSE strong, extremely serous
  • IN TENT determined, absorbed, to defrand
  • INTENTION done on perpose
  • DETENTION imprisonment
  • RETENTION keeping/holding
  • ATTENTION carefull thought given
  • HYPOTENSION very low blood pressure
  • CONTENTION dispute
  • CONTENT satisfied/happy, thing which is contained

1 hyper - hyperactive, highly-strung
2 hyper - over, beyond, above

hypercritical excessively critical
hypertension abnormally high blood pressure great emotional tension
hyperthyroidism, hyperventilation, hyperthermia, etc
Hyperbola plane curve produced when cone is cut by a plane that makes a larger angle with the base than the side of the cone makes
Hypochondria abnormal and ill-formed anxiety about ones health (Latin from Greek = soft parts of the body below the ribs, where melancholy was thought to arise)

HYPOCRISY false claim to virtue; insincerity, pre-tence instance of this (Greek = acting, feigning)
Hypotension abnormally low blood pressure
Hypotenuse side opposite the right angle of a right - angled triangle (Greek = subtending line)
Hypothalamus region of the brain controlling body temperature, thirst, hunger, etc (Greek = inner room)
Blood red fluid circulating in the arteries and veins of animals
"it's in my blood" (Genetic Makeup)
"taste blood"
"Blood thirsty"
Blood cardling horrifying
Bloodless without blood or bloodshed

BLOOD PRESSURE pressure of the blood in the arteries etc, measured for diagnosis
Blood relation/Blood relative
Bloodshot eyes, inflamed

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