Approved: 16.08.2006

Alison J Carr

Artist, Lecturer / academic, Researcher, Writer

Approved: 16.08.2006

My work disrupts the constant stream of images of women we are surrounded by in magazines, films and commercials that reiterate the connection between perfect female bodies and commodification.  I want to contrast these assumptions with compositions I create to reframe the female body: imperfect, glamorous, located in a context of radical thought, disruptive intentions, where excess is not about consumption, but pleasure. I reimagine the frivolity of entertainment and ask if it can be ruptured away the service of neoliberal individuality, and that political agency need not be dry, earnest, contained.

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Biography

My work disrupts the constant stream of images of women we are surrounded by in magazines, films and commercials that reiterate the connection between perfect female bodies and commodification.  I want to contrast these assumptions with compositions I create to reframe the female body: imperfect, glamorous, located in a context of radical thought, disruptive intentions, where excess is not about consumption, but pleasure. I reimagine the frivolity of entertainment and ask if it can be ruptured away the service of neoliberal individuality, and that political agency need not be dry, earnest, contained.

 

I make photographs, videos, collages, and performances. My performance pieces include showgirl posing, tap-dancing chorus lines, and spoken word monologues, which draw directly on my research on showgirls. My videos have an improvised feel to them, from speaking off-camera to dancing to-camera. My collages incorporate photographs I have taken of theatre interiors and 1930s showgirls pin-up recreations in which I embody the role of showgirl myself. I draw on Dada, cabaret posters, and geometric abstraction to create compositions. I play with the political implications of the colours I use—bright pinks and reds. Red we easily associate with socialism. Garish plastic pink I associate with gendered toys, popular feminist book covers, glaring adverts.

CV & Education

Qualifications and training 2013 - Practice Led PhD, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield 2009 - MFA Photography & Media, California Institute of the Arts, California, USA 2001 - BA Hons Fine Art, Combined & Media Art, Sheffield Hallam University Solo exhibitions 2012 - Showtime, with Kerstin Honeit, SIA Gallery, Cantor Building, Sheffield Hallam University, 153 Arundel Street Sheffield S1 2NU 2011 - Showtime, with Kerstin Honeit, LoBe, Berlin 2009 - Woman As Image, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California 2008 - Wish You Were Here, Real Photographs, Series of Nine, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California Group exhibitions 2011 - Last Requests, Assembly / Bloc Projects, Sheffield 2009 - GLAMFA 09, Greater Los Angeles MFA, California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach 2009 - MFA Conversations Part II, I5 Gallery at The Brewery Art Colony, Los Angeles 2009 - Why Theory, CalArts MFA Grad Show / Spring Arts Tower, Downtown Los Angeles 2007 - Deja Vu, Blocspace, Sheffield 2006 - Paint It Black , Cupola Gallery, Sheffield 2005 - S1 Artspace Member's Show, S1 Artspace, Sheffield Live/Performance 2006 - Just For Fun, Webster Gotts & Robin Close, Sheffield Residencies 2011 - LoBe London Berlin Art Kunst , LoBe, Berlin 2010 - Terra Summer Residency, Terra, Giverny Educational experience - secondary 2008 - Community Arts Partnership, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California Educational experience - tertiary 2008 - Teaching Assistant for Ellen Birrell & David Bunn, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California Other 2012 - Tegel Flights of Fancy, Screening, Bablyon Cinema, Berlin