Anna Stevens Surrey, United Kingdom
Stevens works with experimental film and video art to discuss the absurd and the vulnerability of the body. Using low-tech filming techniques to imitate late 20th-century horror, the artist plays with black comedy to accentuate the body's corporeal reality and society's denial of this truth. They are based in Surrey, England and studied BA Fine Art at the University for the Creative Arts 2019-21.
The artist works with performative experimental film and installation to explore the vulnerable corporeality of the body. Inspired by 1970's and 80's horror films (such as David Cronenberg's Videodrome), they balance comedy with horror through low-value, tacky imagery and techniques. They aim to increase mortality and bodily awareness to discuss absurdism, the idea that one is unable to create a meaningful existence in a meaningless reality, whilst also encouraging an audience to accept and embrace this fact. Fleshy imagery is used to theatrically immerse an audience in fakery, so as to highlight key factors of reality and exhibit the body for what it really is. Just meat. By taking Geoffrey Gorer’s idea of the pornography of death, removing the gore-driven imagery from its context, and re-contextualising it in an art space, the imagery grows to cause a deeper contemplation of the vulnerable body. However, rather than dwelling on unfulfilling death anxieties, awareness of the shortness and meaninglessness of life should be liberating, as one is able to construct new and enjoyable meanings for oneself to live by. The artwork induces laughter and revulsion for cathartic release.