Performance artist FK Alexander discusses No Where // Now Here
Future world explored in immersive performance art
Glamour is the first word that springs to mind when considering FK Alexander's singular performance art: not in a shrill, vacuous way that invokes celebrity sex tapes and selfie-obsessed pop culture, but rather the original eighteenth century meaning, of enchantment or bewitchment. When Alexander takes to a space, she owns and transforms it, and the effect is hypnotic.
The Glasgow-based artist, who was recently mentored by New York No-Wave pioneer Lydia Lunch, often takes on huge themes, exploring the nature of the self and the elemental spaces we inhabit. Creation and destruction loom large in her work process, as well as the influence of JG Ballard's modernist novels, and their vision of industrialisation’s slow decay.
As she explains, 'It's clicked thematically. I was thinking about the dystopian future and the horrors of that. You can fear technology, or be excited by that. My work here is about bringing out the tensions of each other: the fast-paced decline of western civilisation, technology run riot.'
Also informed by reading Cormac McCarthy's novel The Road, No Where // Now Here asks how to continue when all seems lost. 'What's left?' she says. 'That is something I am interested in – becoming a new animal.'
Crawling across the stage on her hands and knees, gathering coal, in No Where // Now Here, Alexander offers a visceral, spiritual theatre that cuts to the heart of what it is to be human while attempt to remap a possible future that neither fears or worships technology.