Alice Anderson, artiste plasticienne

(Alice Anderson, visual artist), original interview, 2010

The works of Alice Anderson, Franco-British visual artist and filmmaker, born in 1976, reinterprets her childhood and her stories. A lover of metamorphosis, effects with scales and mirrors, the artist has created for herself several alter egos, endowed with long red hair subjected to doll's games in a manner more akin to Hans Bellmer than Walt Disney. Her work, full of tension and contrast, is interwoven with cruel stories and paradoxes.

The Isolated Child, a sculpture comprising 5,000 metres of doll's hair, was created specially for the Brune/Blonde exhibition. It sprawls across Gehry's architecture, until it reaches a wax figure in the exhibition area, created in the artist's own image: this body, enclosed within a cylinder covered with pins is a metaphoric replay of the link uniting child to mother, a severe and punitive recurrent figure in her work. While Gehry's modern tower may take inspiration from a reference to Rapunzel, it is the mother/daughter couple that is important here. The hair works like a reel of thread, an umbilical cord on which is depicted a visceral attachment, a tension between interior and exterior, the mother and daughter being the two conflicting poles. The image of the spider and web it suggests – present in particular in blood drawings, is evidently no stranger to the Freudian idea of mother as castrator.

In this filmed interview, the artist returns to the question of the doll's hair – depicted with threads – as a fundamental element of her visual artist's vocabulary, and to its aesthetic challenges. The work with architecture is presented as an essential component in the design of The Isolated Child whose development and assembly by professional climbers may be followed. Alice Anderson, linked to the technicians by walkie talkie, orchestrates this unusual ballet of threads at long distance.

Alice Anderson - Crown - 2009
The Night I Became a Doll
Alice Anderson - The Night I Became a Doll - 2009
Les Jeux de la poupée
Hans Bellmer - Les Jeux de la poupée - 1935
The Isolated Child
Alice Anderson - The Isolated Child - 2010
Heinrich Lefler, Josef Urban - Rapunzel - 1905
Dessin de sang
Alice Anderson - Dessin de sang - 2008
Drawn hair
From the top of a tower