Déjà Vu – Alison J Carr, Laure Carnet & Lesley Guy
Alison J Carr has produced a series of self portraits based on cigarette card images of 1930’s dancers that she found at a car boot sale. Each black and photograph shows the artist taking on the role of the dancers, her meticulous use of lighting, costume, poise and expression remaining faithful to the originals.
The best wigs have been used; sequins have been sewn on by hand; leotards have been specially made. Likewise, the lives and culture of the era have been thoroughly researched by Carr to enable her to imbue her work with an authenticity that is of the highest importance to her. Through the strength of her ‘acting’, the provenance of the images is effectively translated to the viewer.
To the last detail, Carr attempts the impossible endeavour of becoming somebody else completely, at the same time exploring her own long and unfulfilled fantasy of becoming a famous dancer.
Lesley Guy’s work seeks to re-evaluate ideas of beauty, identity and relationships, with a specific focus on the posed or formal photographic portrait.
Guy has developed a process of manipulating both the sitter - usually herself - and the photograph to create the effect of a semi-negative image. Tonal values are reversed; light appears as dark and vice versa, but not consistently throughout the image. The effect is disorientating and requires the viewer to adjust to what they think they are seeing. Guy highlights a sense of ‘otherness’ in the viewer’s relationship to art, other people and perhaps to ourselves.
Laure Carnet uses parts of the body in her work to represent emotional states and the nuances of communication and relationships. Imagery, sound and setting are carefully selected to explore the ways in which these states can be transcribed, the artist seeking to express these without resorting to facial expressions.
A film depicts a pair of female legs moving backwards and forwards on a swing, shot from two camera angles which provide pace and rhythm. Subtle surround sound is used to create an intimate, engaging and immersive environment.
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