© Alexandra Davenport, Circuit Training (exercises in self-doubt), 2018. Performance still from ‘Show 2018’; Royal College of Art, London.

Alexandra Davenport (b.1992) is a London-based artist and lecturer working primarily with performance, photography, text and research.

Signalling back to a history in dance, her work is centred around the gestural body, adapting choreographic tools and strategies from dance as a means to explore the performativity of image-making. Often starting in the archive or from a historical anecdote, her broader research interests include intersectional feminism, neuroscience and the history of photography. In 2019, Alexandra’s live performance work ‘Circuit Training (exercises in self-doubt)’ (2018) was featured in the Vogue Ukraine Art Issue, curated around the topic of Identity & Gender.

 

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Hello! @alexandra.davenport here continuing my @photoworks_uk takeover. Workshops and collaborations have also become an increasingly vital part of my practice. I took the images above during a workshop at Tate Modern @tate last year with @tomlovelacestudio. As part of Tom’s ‘The Photograph in Flux’ workshop series, Tom invited me to join him in running the Photography and Performance session. Using the Tate Modern permanent collections as material to generate movement, we invited participants to think through the body, with a particular focus on repetition, stillness & spacing. . In my current research, i’m really interested in the relationship between performer and spectator in light of contemporary image culture: . “The white cube, meanwhile, under the pressure of digital technology, has been recalibrated as a space for unlimited documentation: taking installation shots (and selfies) and publishing them on hybridized public-private online platforms. […] More than ever, the white cube is the stage set for photographs destined to circulate digitally on a white webpage. Artists acknowledge that they now install exhibitions with the installation shot in mind. The ephemerality of the exhibition is now just a moment en route to its afterlife — if not its real life — as an online JPEG. The question is to what extent performance in the gallery resists or capitulates to a condition that is now the norm for visual art.” . Text: Claire Bishop, Black Box, White Cube, Gray Zone: Dance Exhibitions and Audience Attention. 2018. . #instagramtakeover #photography #photoworks #alexandradavenport

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@alexandra.davenport here again for my @photoworks_uk takeover. This is the last image i’ll be sharing from my ‘Pas de Deux’ series. Working with found material from medical journals produced on Hysteria at the Salpêtrière hospital Paris c.1890 and self-defence guides produced for women c.1970 – ‘Pas de Deux’ crops into the found material to highlight the performativity of production, focusing on the gestural crossovers and creating new narratives from these two seemingly disparate sources. . Through this work, I became interested in the idea of ‘bodily apparatus’. The self-defence imagery that I was accumulating similarly presents the body as both material and apparatus within a highly theatrical and de-contextualised setting (the photo studio). With these guides written by men — for women; the narrative placed onto the female body is once again written through the male gaze, despite offering us a supposed shift in the hierarchies of power. (3/3) Image: Pas de Deux, #1. 2018. #instagramtakeover #photography #photoworks #alexandradavenport

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Davenport has an MA Photography from The Royal College of Art, London and she is currently a Lecturer on the BA (Hons) Photography course at Arts University Bournemouth.

 

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Hello! @alexandra.davenport here for the second day of my @photoworks_uk takeover. Today i’ll be sharing some work and research from my ‘Pas de Deux’ series. This series is the result of research conducted whilst on residency at @citedesartsparis in 2017. Working with found material from medical journals produced on Hysteria at the Salpêtrière hospital Paris c.1890 and self-defence guides produced for women c.1970 – ‘Pas de Deux’ crops into the found material to highlight the performativity of production, focusing on the gestural crossovers and creating new narratives from these two seemingly disparate sources. . Researching the performative history of Hysteria (now a defunct medical diagnosis), during my residency I spent time at the Charcot Library located at the modern day Salpêtrière hospital. The ‘image’ of contemporary Western Hysteria was brought to life at this hospital by Jean-Martin Charcot and Albert Londe in late 19th Century. Women were most commonly diagnosed and subsequently subjects in the images produced. Using the photograph as a tool to fabricate truth, symptoms of hysteria are thought to have been performed or induced for the camera, with symptoms projected onto the subjects in light of how the male medical practitioners wanted to shape its truth.(1/3) . Image: Pas de Deux, #7. 2018. #instagramtakeover #photography #photoworks #alexandradavenport

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Recent exhibitions include A Performance Affair; Brussels, BG (2019), Vogue Ukraine Art Issue Exhibition; Kyiv, UA (2019), Dancing In Peckham; Peckham 24, London, UK (2019), Stop Motion: In Search of the Still Image [Solo]; Hanes Art Gallery, USA (2019), The Same Tendency; Summerhall, Edinburgh, UK, Visions in the Nunnery, The Nunnery Gallery, London, UK (2018), London Nights; The Museum of London, UK (2018).

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