In my practice I find offcuts of our image culture—long forgotten promo photos of chorus girls—and recycle them into my own narrative, one that speaks back to our consumer-orientated image culture with its Photoshopped sheen of perfection.
I make photographs, videos, collages, and performances. My collages draw on Dada, cabaret posters, and geometric abstraction; incorporating photographs I have taken of theatre interiors and 1930s showgirls pin-up recreations in which I embody the role of showgirl myself.
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 am imagining that the frivolity of entertainment need not be in the service of neoliberal individuality and that political agency need not be dry, earnest, contained.
Alison J Carr is an artist and writer. She studied at the California Institute of the Arts, absorbing both the critical dialogue and the lure of facade of Hollywood. She worked with Leslie Dick, Natalie Bookchin, Ellen Birrell and Jo Ann Callis, developing her critical voice as well as her singing voice (taking singing lessons to help her with singing theory). Following her soujorn to LA, she returned to Sheffield to do a PhD at Sheffield Hallam University where she had earlier gained her undergraduate degree. Supervised by Feona Attwood at Jaspar Joseph-Lester, her thesis How Do I Look? Viewing, Embodiment, Showgirls & Art Practice challenged the repetition of objectification and gaze theory so that she could find her own words and ways of speaking her pleasure in watching fierce women perform.