Alison Pirie's "Hysteric" Performances
My practice is multidisciplinary, including video, performance, installation, and 2D mediums, which I utilize to explore ideas of gender, the body, sexuality, and language. Using bright colors, sets, mass-produced and handmade props, and costumes, I create theatrical and absurd works that utilize a contemporary commercial aesthetic to reference past histories.
My current area of research is the medical and cultural history of female hysteria and its contemporary relationship to female objectification, performance of femininity, entertainment, protest and sexuality. Through historical research and autobiographical experience, I construct characters and theatrical sets and scenes that voice my personal and cultural discontent, and imitate and respond to our current cultural malaise.
Referencing master narratives and pop culture language and imagery, I mimic cultural stereotypes through deconstructive parody. Through my work and characters I embody the female hysteric and transform her into a contemporary conceptual operator and agent of change to explore and speak to contemporary female experiences and hysteria in the era of Trump, Women’s Marches, Me Too movement, Times Up, etc.
I enact the body of the historically oppressed to tell their story and seek justice, and to navigate and give context to my own contemporary experience as a woman. By reconstructing these histories through a humorous and absurd lens I aim to discredit the patriarchal ideas and constructs created to oppress and define women and our role in society.