Loukia Alavanou

13 Mar - 16 Apr 2010

"Next Door To Alice"


Rodeo is very happy to announce the first solo exhibition in the gallery of Loukia Alavanou (b. Athens 1979, lives and works in London).

With this exhibition Alvanou introduces the three-channel animation "My My My", an assemblage of images and clips from historic fairy tales and films.

By bringing together known moments of cinemathography and fairy tales films, Alavanou is masking them out and through this "video collage" she transforms dreams to nightmares. Alarming sounds resonate from animals and heroes, whereas Alice's voice is guiding us from the one moment to the other. "If I only had a place to live!" says the voice whereas we intentionally are not let to see her image. Altered clips from Twin Peaks and The Shine, Bergman's Seventh Seal and Tod Browning's Freaks, create a world of anxiety and bring up hidden possible meanings in the imagery as well as iconography of Alice in Wonderland, Snow White and other films with gils as heroes. The unexplored narratives of the sexuality in the voices, the uncoscious mechanisms that make fairy tales what they are, in Alavanou's hand become toys for deconstruction and writing of new stories.

The artist explores the terrifying dimension of the voice, through "renovating" a voce from the past. Taking as its starting point the voice of Snow White from a 30's Hollywood radio production based on Disney's "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", Alavanou restores and recontextualizes this analogue voice, using it as the leading point for a surreal narrative, a pastiche of words and images from mainstream and forgotten films.

The voice does not tell a story; it rather "speaks" on the second person, as if involved in a dialogue with mechanical toys, or human machines.

Images of Heart queens, heart kings and a jocker, taken from various "cinematic versions of Alice in Wonderland", become the "second party", the "audience", the "parents", replying through "the absence of words" to this seemingly fragile but deeply sarcastic girly voice that asks: "If I only had a place to live, you don't know where such a place would be?'.

In Disney's "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" the heroin was portrayed as hysterical nymphet. In the end of the work Alavanou uses a male voice from the same Hollywood radio production, that advertises a washing powder to "the women in our audience", advising them how to get rid of stains in their underwear. Female sexuality is being mocked, given as humiliating. Through the renovated voice of 30's Snow White that sounds as if "coming out of the grave" when heard through digital equipment, Alavanou explores the early 20th century tabous around female sexuality and enjoyment, and how female role models constructed by Hollywood have permeated our consciousness from an early age even today.