an uncertain nature
For everyone who missed her first solo show, Alison Brady is showing again in NY starting this Thursday. The young SVA graduate reminds us a bit of Guy Bourdin, but she's got a quirkier, meaner streak we find amusing. Unlike Bourdin who kept everything a bit more "fashiony" and upbeat, Brady's photographic work focuses more on pain and death, ranging from sexy-scary to nasty and disturbing. Definitely not for everyone, but worth checking out if you're feeling jaded.
An Uncertain Nature
January 8th from 6-8 pm
526 West 26th St No 519
New York NY 10001
Show runs until February 8, 2009
Artist's Statement: My work is a series of color photographs that work to stimulate unconscious emotions, desires, and sexual compulsions, all unified within a dynamic that vacillates between the real and the fantasized. I explore issues related to madness and alienation as they exist in contemporary culture, concentrating on expressions of neurosis, on feelings of anxiety, displacement, and loss of identity.
These emotions are depicted in terms of visual conflict through my imagery, and manifested in terms of grotesque exaggeration. While investigating issues related to the unconscious, elements such as eroticism, twisted humor, and horror come across. I strive to create dichotomies between the sensual and the horrific, the beautiful and the destructive; the result, I hope, is a body of work comprised of deeply emotional and disturbing depictions of the unknown, staged imagery that functions on a metaphorical level, and inanimate objects and settings serving to illustrate the inner workings of the unconscious.
Nearly everyone has experienced some sort of traumatic disconnect in their lives, whether it is a severance within the body/self or a break from family or friends. Much hysteria is rooted in such traumatic experience, one that cannot be integrated into a person’s understanding of the world. Freud, in “Beyond the Pleasure Principle” states, “Often times we tend to repeat a traumatic event over and over even until it becomes pleasurable.” This repetition contradicts our instinct to seek pleasure but, regardless, our mind has a tendency to repeat traumatic events in order to deal with them, as a way of mastering them. This repetition can take the form of dreams, storytelling, or even hallucination; my images allude to the cryptic mental re-scrambling through which our traumatic events resurface. When I conceive my images the questions I ask myself are: What is the state of normality? How can that normality be subverted, perverted, or generally transformed? When does this overcome the real and become psychotic?
My work attempts to play on these feelings of instability. The subjects that I use - some friends, some strangers - are placed into often awkward, bizarre set pieces, and coerced into visually compelling poses. Various websites (craigslist, etc.) became a way of enlisting others into my shoots. I use the photography medium as way of documenting the experience of these performance pieces. An example of this would be smearing chocolate syrup all over a stranger’s legs and asking him to climb into a dryer, they might be completely covered with glitter or have their head stuffed in an uncomfortable place