It's hard to think of a collection of work more right for the charmingly creaky feel of small Beak Street gallery Riflemaker. Alice Anderson's exhibit opens publicly today, featuring several sculptural pieces, a haunting short film, and a huge installation of synthetic ginger doll's hair spiderwebbing the entire ground floor space then snaking out the door and draping back in through an upstairs window.
Many of the pieces feature dolls and doll parts as a motif. Anderson describes her most prominent subjects as memory and the passage of time, but even more prominent in her work is the interplay of feminine prowess with feminine fragility. Although many of the small structural pieces upstairs are awkward, as if each one’s been forced to take on deeper meanings it doesn’t really possess, her 9 minute film “The Day I Became a Doll” is worth a visit and trip down the awesomely creepy staircase into Riflemaker’s basement. It’s a strange experience, reminiscent of a gothic horror and explores the power relationships between mother and daughter.
Overwhelmingly, “Time Reversal”, with its wax dolls and puppets and mommy issues, seems to project teenage angst — a surprising theme for work meant to be so stark and serious. Maybe that’s what makes it rather charming. Good for your next lazy afternoon wandering in Soho.
By Lillian He. Alice Anderson’s Time Reversal is open from 2 March to 24 April at Riflemaker, 79 Beak Street, W1.