With Alice is my MFA in Documentary thesis project. Please find the didactic below.
At the age of fourteen, Alice began exploring the frustrations she faced—as an adolescent, an artist, and a feminist—through her artistic practice. She developed a keen interest in creating experiential installations, translating her own questions concerning community, gender, censorship, and age discrimination into tangible artworks. More recently, Alice turned to painting and performance to explore her identity and investigate themes of female representation and iconography.
With Alice is a portrait of my cousin Alice, negotiating the challenges she faces through her visual art practice. Over a two-year period, this has led her to explore her ever- shifting identity through performance.
Alice’s profound admiration for female characters that appear in 1930s, 40s and 50s films and novels compelled her to paint women of these eras. The paintings blend images of herself with actresses she idolizes, such as Judy Garland, Ava Gardner, Lucille Ball, and Mae West. In borrowing and re-working their images, Alice personifies aspects of her own personality inspired by these icons, qualities such as glamour and bravery.
The photographs in With Alice portray Alice in her creative process, shaping her artwork and herself, in her daily life at home and at school. In the formal portraits, Alice poses consciously for the camera, performing the women she paints. Together—in participation with one another—we have created portraits of her own embodied icons.