James Webb (b. 1975, South Africa) is an artist and experimental musician. Framed in large-scale installations in galleries and museums, or in unannounced interventions in public spaces, his work often uses ellipsis, displacement and humour to explore the nature of belief and the dynamics of communication in our contemporary world.
Notable recent projects include “Scream,” wherein the artist invited members of the gallery staff of the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid to scream at Picasso’s Guernica, “Autohagiography,” an installation consisting of audio interviews conducted with himself under hypnosis, and “There’s No Place Called Home” an on going, world-wide intervention using incongruous foreign birdcalls broadcast out of speakers concealed in local trees, for example the calls of South African summer birds in Japanese trees during midwinter. Permanent installations include “Let Me Lose Myself,” an abstract audio guide to the Skogskrykogården cemetery in Stocholm.
Webb’s work has been presented around the world at institutions such as the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, CCA Kitakyushu in Japan and the Darat al Funun in Amman, Jordan, as well as on major international exhibitions such as the 2013 Biennale di Venezia, the 2010 Marrakech Biennale, the 2009 Melbourne International Arts Festival and the 2007 Biennale d’Art Contemporain de Lyon. His work is represented in the collections of the Iziko South African National Gallery, Johannesburg Art Gallery, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum, the Darat al Funun, Amman, and Vranken Pommery, France.