Zish Alexander

Conceptual Artist

I came here to learn.

I'm always in a constant state of learning,

because I think that's the most important method of being.

I think the process is wrestling with internal desire and external expectation. 


Trying to understand what is actually going on.

Trying to exist in a world,

while fulfilling everyone else's expectations of me,

and still getting what I want out of it.

What is your truth versus what is imposed on you?

Zish hiding.jpg

Illustration and image, Carla Knight

These education establishments that I've been a part of, or was indoctrinated into;


They're not there to actually build you as an individual.


They're there to create and perpetuate the system.


Zish Studio, Sketches. Image, Carla Knight

Safety is an aspiration. 


We aspire to be comfortable, or to have contentedness.


We're constantly navigating this idea of other and of comfort and how we can exist in a space without being harmful to others. 


Without feeling harm ourselves actually is more important, because we don't actually consider the harm that we do to others.


We are more interested in self preservation.


Zish's Studio, Sketches. Image, Carla Knight

I'm human, maybe I can't actually fit into this expectation that you have. 


Ultimately I don't think I care about what anyone thinks about what I think,


it's more important for you to just go away and wrestle with it yourself.

Almost offering that opportunity to question your reality.


I think we all need these questions. 

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Film Still, Zish Alexander

Whenever you've been reading something or you've walked down the street and something catches your eye, 


Whatever these small things of connection are. 


The first port of call was in writing it down. 


And they had these moments of connection,


I think I slowly collate them.


I save them until something like a big enough bubble comes up.

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A Poem from Extracts, Josh Gibson,

created using extracts from the interview transcript

There's a heightened sense of awareness when you call something art. 


And when you put yourself in that art context, and you start to judge things in that way. 


And I think because of that,


Everyone wants to have a certain truth within what they say. 


They want to,

Whether it's their truth, or what  they see as truth. 


There are obviously exceptions where we're projecting based on our part,


from where our mental spaces are.


I think that's another another side to it. 

I've kind of had to discern whether the feedback you're getting is objective or subjective.


I think sometimes it is really important to look at the intention behind the words that have been delivered to me.


Because I know for a fact that curators, for example, may look at the work I do,

and go through and go where can I place you?


Zish's Journal. Image, Carla Knight

Just because you're older than me does not mean you're wiser than me,

Doesn't mean that you have been able to actually consider what you're saying,

or question what you're saying,

or what you've learned. 

Elders, they're always there,


Usually the ones who are working harder than everyone to very,  very little applause. 

And then it's those hardest workers in those pillars of the community, let's focus on them. 

Let's give them time, space, and, most importantly, money to do their work. 

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Zish's Studio. Image, Carla Knight

I think giving myself permission was asking that question of;

What do I really care about? 

What am I good at? 


What does the world need?

It's moderation, simplicity and consciousness in everything that you do. 

What you love, what you're good at, what you can be paid for, what the world needs.

If I'm going to exist in the world, how can I give more than I take? 

That's not necessarily in resource.


Maybe that's an energy,


Maybe that's in knowledge,

Maybe that's in connections or bringing people together

Or actually maybe just being an agitator, maybe? 


I don't know.


Sometimes I just think I'm an agitator.

Zish's film made for the Exhibition, a work in progress

Coming back to the roundtable, and community and coming together and doing the work.


And the more I think about it, the more it's about the texts. 


It's like you start with the text,


You start with the learned, written, oral experiences,


You have to start with the unfiltered or I mean, I guess it's filtered.


But you need to start with someone else's experience. 


And then if you can,


You should start asking yourself these questions. 

All words Zish Alexander

Part 1 interview Zish AZish
00:00 / 14:00
Part 2 interview Zish AZish
00:00 / 11:17
Part 3 interview Zish AZish
00:00 / 11:15