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"Anne Pigalle: Amerotica"
2006-01-14 until 2006-01-31
Michael Hoppen Gallery
London, , UK United Kingdom

Anne Pigalle uses the Polaroid camera to create unique objects of desire. Born out of a project to entice back a previous lover, Pigalle elaborately ordains her nude body and performs to her audience; the camera. Primarily, the polaroids act as snap shots of her performance, but Pigalle then returns and intricately decorates each image until they become reminiscent of feminine religious icons. She uses a mixture of kitsch materials including nail polish, glitter, feathers and trinkets, all of which create this object quality of decadent sexual desire.

“…A couple of years ago I had a break-up with a boyfriend… All he left behind was his Argos card. With it I went to get a Polaroid camera and in front of the big mirror, staged these photos to express my feelings. Each week I gave him a photo: after two months, we got back together but not for long…”

The use of costumes and masks by Pigalle can be linked back to the surrealist artist’s Claude Cahun and Cindy Sherman; but rather than questioning her gender, she celebrates it. She playfully adopts poses with a narcissistic, self-sufficient sexuality, whilst mimicking classical female art icons, such as Botticelli’s Venus.

The polaroid format, coupled with the frequent appearance of velvety curtains and rich red hues in the staging of the images, introduces a voyeuristic, peepshow element to the images. Throughout the work there is a sense of nostalgic burlesque, harking back to the Pigalle district of Anne’s native Paris.

Anne Pigalle is best known as an inimitable and compelling performer. She was raised in Paris and moved to London during the punk scene. In the 1990s she moved to Los Angeles to work as a photographer and actor. She has since returned to London to perform and work on her autobiography, her singing and photography. This is Anne Pigalle’s first exhibition in the United Kingdom.


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