Alison Carr’s 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. She wants to contrast these assumptions with compositions she creates to reframe the female body: imperfect, glamorous, located in a context of radical thought, disruptive intentions, where excess is not about consumption, but pleasure. Allie reimagines the frivolity of entertainment and asks if it can be ruptured away the service of neoliberal individuality and that political agency need not be dry, earnest, contained.
Allie makes photographs, videos, collages, and performances. Her performance pieces include showgirl posing, tap-dancing chorus lines, and spoken word monologues, which draw directly on her research on showgirls. Her videos have an improvised feel to them, from speaking off-camera to dancing to-camera. Her collages incorporate photographs she has taken of theatre interiors and 1930s showgirls pin-up recreations in which she embodies the role of showgirl herself. The work draws on Dada, cabaret posters, and geometric abstraction to create compositions. Allie plays with the political implications of the colours she uses—bright pinks and reds. Red we easily associate with socialism. Garish plastic pink she associates with gendered toys, popular feminist book covers, glaring adverts.
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 the Hollywood facade. Following her sojourn to LA, she returned to Sheffield to do a PhD at Sheffield Hallam University where she had gained her undergraduate degree. Her book, Viewing Pleasure and Being A Showgirl: How Do I Look? will be published by Routledge in 2017.
She has been a Terra Summer Residency fellow in Giverny France, LoBe Gallery resident in Berlin, and has exhibited her work in London, LA, Indiana, Berlin and Sheffield, and performed her work in Leeds, London, and Sheffield.
She qualified as an Iyengar Yoga teacher in 2016 and teaches at the Sheffield Yoga Centre