Review: FK Alexander-‘NO WHERE//NOW HERE’, Tramway, Glasgow


F K Alexander- photo contributed

Paradox is what drives FK Alexander’s work: the grit and the glitter; purity and corruption,beauty amid decay. In her business suit, scarlet hair gleaming, she circles round a vast road of coal- the last pile on earth. She shines torches on the coal, revealing precious stones within.

The sound, at first a barely audible ripple, becomes a siren cry, then an engulfing crescendo, an orgasm of noise which can be felt in your vital organs. She inhales, lost in the static on the screen behind her. Another pixel.

The sensory overload of the video work is redolent at times of Faster James Gleick’s 1999 powerful testimony to the acceleration of modern culture, or Jello Biafra’s Fuck Facts cut-up montage newspaper.The Red Road flats, demolished in 2015 and Gorbals flats demolished in 2013, are shown being blown up, alongside violence, mass consumption, bankers, videogames and neon nightmares.


FK Alexander by Holly Revell/DARC


Tossing aside her useless items of clothing (uniformity a mere hindrance) Alexander crawls on all fours, meditatively piling up the coal like a small creature stockpiling for the winter, or a survivalist in a nuclear bunker: hunkering down, ready to wait until it all blows over. When/if it blows over.

Avoid consuming, or be consumed. How to rebuild, when the buildings and structures collapse, and the corporate slugs are winning? Stand back, or step up? FK Alexander is necessary, because she asks these questions;she pushes herself to these extremes. She is unique.

As she stumbles, exhausted, towards the finish line, covered in coal dust, she’s now upright. Strong, but vulnerable- always beautiful and defiant, shaking us out of our bovine complacency. Women don’t always get to be heroes on stage, yet here she stands, leading the charge: a force for change.

(Lorna Irvine)

NO WHERE//NOW HERE was commissioned by Spill Festival.

Concept/performance: FK Alexander

Sound design: FK Alexander and Paul Michael Henry

Sound credits: Sarah Glass, Lea Cummings, Iain Findlay-Walsh, Paul Michael Henry

Video: Nick Anderson









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