alison shanks



Next exhibition

Chelsea College of Arts
11th-15 April 2018

Last update
25th. March 2018
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alison shanks 2018



In 1936 Walter Benjamin wrote in his seminal essay, “The work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”

 “The adjustment of reality to the masses and of the masses to reality is a process of unlimited scope, as much for thinking as for perception.”

I am currently interested in clouds and codes, in particular those used in commercial outlets but also those used to carry personal information. In the digital age there is a loss of humanity and a commoditisation of self which I highlight in my work by fragmenting and dehumanising the face.

The photographic facial image is made to seem slightly lost in screen transmission and interference lines, white noise and Binary codes. The clouds are perhaps IClouds, or the idea of being lost in a cloud of confusion, or perhaps pollution.

There are various underlying themes in my work showing how we are controlled and manipulated by an oversaturation of - mass media, technology, social media, fake news, surveillance, religion and consumerism in all forms. There is a loss of self: we are confused, distorted, invaded and out of balance.

I also hope that my heads have an ancient, God like, larger than life, uncanny quality. Sigmund Freud said that the uncanny is invoked in our perception when something that was familiar becomes unfamiliar following the slightest change.