From Kathryn Smith’s essay, Shadow Signals:
“James Webb’s interests embrace the occult, the arcane and the literary, equally alert to the techniques and legacies of Conceptualism and Minimalism as he is to the ethics of reciprocity and the affordances of invisibility… Webb’s process is one of close attendance, mimicry, adding and subtracting, and eventual distillation. He does not identify as a ‘sound artist’, and he rejects the idea of a ‘viewer’ in favour of the ‘reader’, clearly signalling his desire for active engagement and affective (perhaps even transformative) encounters. So, with these coordinates in place, a space is opened to consider several pathways through Webb’s oeuvre that demonstrate his methods. These operate not as a set of binaries in dialectical tension but as conditions of possibility articulated by his particular approach to architectonics, psychogeography and the acousmatic.”
This second monograph on James Webb work, published by his South African gallery Blank, includes texts by by Kathryn Smith, Sandra Klopper, Sean O’Toole, and Louis Viljoen, edited by Hannah Lewis.
24.8 x 20.6cm | 152 pages | hardcover
James Webb is a conceptual artist, known for his site-specific interventions and installations. His practice traverses sound, found objects, and text, invoking references to literature, cinema, and the minimalist traditions. By shifting objects, techniques, and forms beyond their original contexts and introducing them to different environments, Webb creates new spaces of tension. These spaces bind Webb’s academic background in religion, theatre, and advertising, offering poetic inquiries into the economies of belief and dynamics of communication in our contemporary world. Originally based in Cape Town, Webb now lives and works in Sweden.