Artist Statement

Alex Kershaw uses video and photography to mediate intercultural exchange with specific communities, both adjacent to and outside his own culture. He works with people whose identity is largely constituted though their relationship to the natural world. The subjects of his work become participants and collaborators in the production of the work. Participation generates the content of the work, where the camera is used as a way of thinking—negotiating the lived experience of Kershaw's participants and his artistic re-imagining of place. Thus, it is the social body that is his primary medium.

Quotidian rituals used to connect, to cope, and to acculturate, provide the subject matter for developing the choreography of his subject’s performances. This mode integrates performative, cinematic and ethnographic genres, where fact and fiction are kept in play as a method for engaging with and parodying the realist aspirations and claims to knowledge made by such disciplines. Rather than recording 'reality' as it is given or simply manufacturing fictions, Kershaw provokes an alternative reality that is then documented.

In his work the amalgam of fact/fiction or rational/libidinal is not necessarily a substitution of one-for-the-other, but kept in motion—involving the production of a different kind of reality that could equally be a variation on realism or a new imaginary. In this process where meaning is provoked and implicated for his audience, participants are re-embodied within their own surroundings—regenerating a space where perspectives are always being twisted and displaced.