Primo Alonso presents:
The Great Alonso 18th June-10th July
Private View Friday 17th June 6pm-late
This summer Primo Alonso will close it's doors for good but before we go we'd like to say thank you to everyone we have worked with so far. Our final exhibition will showcase some of the brilliant artists we have had the pleasure to meet over the past five years so please come along and say your goodbyes.
The last adventure of the Great Alonso
Text by Matt Clark
Ah yes... when all else is done, when performing is in the dream of the child and the last rabbit has been pulled, only now can I dream of the last great adventure. Of the place where all men meet and talk of times spent living... that is the only adventure I have now. My last trick is that which they used to say of the devil, to prove my existence. 'Great Alonso' they used to say, 'where did that rabbit come from?' 'My hat is deep', is all I used to reply. But they could not know, how they would laugh at me if they knew the truth. I have never found the strength to reach deep enough to find the ark by which all beasts come. Never have I found the lion and the giraffe, nor has the monkey or bear reached for my hand as I reach for theirs. I only ever find a rabbit, and his meagre form is no longer adequate for their amusement. Now you know my failure and I can no longer search for that strength. I will accept a fate dealt to me here and relinquish to the foundry of the heavens any cast made from my soul, and look not for the crown and beast but to the brim and acceptance.
As I sit in this dressing room the sickly sight of this lead paint veneer chokes my nostrils, this humble stool creeks and groans with history, as if a thousand clowns had asked the reflection in the mirror for approval of their craft, and now a fog enters my eyes. The thought occurred to me that if the lights around the mirror had been put out, this scene would be less cheerless, that the gas lamps made ones heart sadder because it lighted it all up. My coat tails look tattered and worn, my face looks grey and my eyes look deep set as if into cavernous holes in my head. What is a magician with only old tricks? The children no longer applaud my successes but instead arrive like grey and purple clouds on my day of sun, obscuring my view of a once glistening horizon. A poet once told me, 'great artists have no country' and now that line sticks in my ears as justice to my secret, for there is something I have neglected to say.
I used to know a magic, a magic I was taught by a long line of marvellous magicians who took their knowledge with them when they died. This was a magic that could not be bought by means of this world, not plastic apparitions but real magic. These wonders would provide them with a place in the sky as one of the stars in the black velvet shroud you see at night. You see a magician is not a man like any other, as before he comes onto this world he makes a pact with the sun never to out shine him in they eyes of man and in return when he passes the sun grants him a place in the sky to watch over all the magic of all the universe and to learn all the tricks of man, so that they may shine on for eternity but only in his shadow.
This was the oath I took many years ago. But in my time I forgot that pact, and I broke the promise to the sun when I reached for the lion instead of the rabbit and now the broken man who writes this will not find a place in heaven but will remain in this place as a clown, one to be jeered at and taunted, one to be called 'the joke'. To me being called a mad man would be a promotion if it were not that I remain as ridiculous in their eyes as before. But now I do not resent this fate, this audience, they are all dear to me, even when they laugh at me and indeed it is just then that they are particularly dear to me. I can join in their laughter not exactly at myself but through my affection for them, if I did not feel so sad as to look at them. Sad because they do not know the truth and I do know it. Oh! How hard it is to be the only one who knows the truth. But they would not understand it; no they would not understand it at all. This is my end and this painted face is all that remains of the Great Alonso.
For press enquiries please contact
Angelica Sule: email: email@example.com
Gallery Primo Alonso, 397 Hackney Road, London, E2 8PP
Open Friday-Sunday 11am - 6pm or by appointment
Tube: Bethnal Green/Old Street
Bus 26, 48, 55
Tel: 020 7033 3678