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The stormtroopers, in the epic Star Wars films, were a collective of military personnel. They carried out Imperialist duties, prescribed by the evil Lord Vader, with cool efficiency. This is an interesting choice of imagery, for an artist of politically subversive and culturally critical means. For Alasdair Macintyre, his shiny white warriors are emblematic of universal marching armies, such as the Red Guard and the Nazis – brainwashed and unquestioning, disturbing in their indoctrinated order. They are, for these reasons, a vehicle for Macintyre’s social commentary and creative engagement with art history, theory and practice.
Macintyre is known for his pastiches, his visual puns that hold underlying political sway. He builds small dioramic mise-en-scène and scaled models of the white cube gallery, wherein his sculpted art world inhabitants perform their one-act plays. His sculpture has consistently been an intelligent and philosophical account of the state of aesthetics and the hierarchies of the art world. This latest series of works, using the Star Wars emblem of clean order, continue his developing interest in popular culture, as totems of subversive disorder, within an enclosed and dramatic environment.
Macintrye’s latest trope, the stormtrooper, has become a symbol of clone-like behavior or action, as a cautionary reminder for us to think for ourselves. He warns us not to fall prey to economic or social dogma. The artist is also making a comment on the ‘army of similar art’ that relentlessly marches through our galleries and museums, with deafening thuds. The artist is a philosopher of sorts; his art practice is his methodological art tool, used to interrogate the state of active being in the world. For over a decade, Macintyre’s work has grappled with the curious nature of our lives, political conventions and social systems. Why must some of us beg on the street, while others will never fear starvation? Why do some artists prosper, yet others do not? Why must we submit to political policies that are inherently immoral? In the past, Macintyre’s character, Aecap, has led us on a merry art world dance through these sticky issues. Popular culture and art world propaganda have been both his source and his target.via sullivanstrumpf.com