Gaelen Pinnock studied architecture at the University of Cape Town, graduating in 2005. Following several years of architectural practice in Cape Town and London, he began working with design and art.
In the intervention titled, Rights of Admission Reserved (2018) featured in the exhibition, The Main Complaint, Pinnock aims to make viewers feel intimidated by either the physical object or the access control procedure.
The work takes the form of a physical barrier at the entrance to the Centre for the Moving Image. A gate made of standard domestic security materials (steel bars, spikes, signage, etc) blocks the passage leading into the exhibition space. The public will only be granted access by pressing a “request button”, after which the electronic lock will open. The work is an attempt to distil the sense of exclusion, usually imparted by covert expressions of power, control or authoritarianism in the built environment, into something physical and explicit.
His use of photography to document and critique urban landscapes resulted in an exhibition called Dystopias in 2012. His work has since developed into other artistic mediums including collage, printmaking and sculpture.
Pinnock uses various techniques to explore & document the spatial memes that underlie our cities. His work scrutinizes the legacies of failed utopian visions & the shadows cast by laws, systems & political trends. He looks at how modern developments & policies in South Africa are entrenching class separation in a landscape that is already shaped by the legacy of colonialism, apartheid legislation & divisive spatial planning.
Gaelen Pinnock’s work titled, Right of Admission Reserved (2018) is featured in the Zeitz MOCAA exhibition, The Main Complaint (2018 – 2019).