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A sanding belt grinds to a halt. A plastic spaceman spelunks a mielie cob. A hippopotamus munches on the underside of a surfboard. Somewhere in the background of a withering electronic soundscape Marcel Duchamp can be heard asking himself the question: ‘How do you know when you are finished making art?’
If you were to ask artist, musician, poet and master jeweller Glenn Adendorff that selfsame question, it’s a safe bet that the answer would be ‘never’. Conversely, if you had to ask him the question: ‘Where do you start making art?’ the answer would in all probability be an equally emphatic ‘everywhere’.
For Glenn is an insatiable curiosity vortex; an indefatigable consumer of content and prolific producer of kaleidoscopic narrative. It’s been variously called exquisite corpse; bricolage; objet trouvé; art brut or mashup but Adendorff prefers his own moniker of ‘conceptual vandalism’ to describe his equally frenzied and focused; chaotic and controlled approach to making art.
A natural-born storyteller, for Glenn everything is pulsing with narrative possibility. Absolutely nothing is pedestrian. An abandoned shoe on the pavement is an epic unwritten tale. Old arcade games; toy dinosaurs; a rusty padlock; a busted fire hydrant; a praying mantis and a hammerhead shark swimming in the harbour are all fertile fodder for the fevered creative feeding frenzy.
And, as much crazy-paved content as this gleefully agnostic ransacking of every kind of bin that every kind of culture can provide, Glenn resists being easily pigeonholed as just another postmodernist waving the ‘everything is art’ banner. For as voracious as his creative appetite may be, his eye remains a ruthlessly discerning and discriminating one.
This is most strikingly in evidence in Glenn’s jewellery where the vectors of concept and craft lock into each other with breathtaking beauty. Simultaneously sleek, sophisticated, dystopian and monumental, the iconoclastic designs are a sublime, incongruous marriage of industrial and baroque handmade to preternatural levels of power and precision.