ABOUT ALYSON POU
Alyson Pou has been making installation and performance work for over twenty years. With a background in dance, visual art and writing - her work combines movement, text, and objects. She has performed, exhibited and lectured at museums, galleries, art centers and colleges around the country. She is the recipient of a New York Dance and Performance Award ("Bessie") in the category of choreographer/creator for "To Us at Twilight…." Her work has been presented in New York by Danspace Project at St. Mark's Church, Performance Space 122, Franklin Furnace, The New Museum, Artists Space, Threadwaxing Space, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Creative Time, Dixon Place, HERE, the Bronx Museum and The Downtown Performance Festival; in California at New Langton in San Francisco and The Contemporary Art Forum in Santa Barbara; The Contemporary Art Center in New Orleans, the High Museum of Art and Nexus Contemporary Art Center in Atlanta, among others. She has received grants from the NEA, Art Matters, Inc. and The Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art as well as commissions from the Atlanta Festival of Art and Deutche Bank. She has been awarded fellowships by The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, The American Antiquarian Society, and has served on both organization's artist advisory and selection committees. In 2006 Voice and Vision Theatre awarded Pou one of five ENVISION professional artist residencies at Bard College. She has received the Henderson Award for Poetry.
Pou has taught classes on the history of performance art and has lead hands-on workshops and classes for multi-media performance production at NYU, Cooper Union, The New School, Williams College and Smith College.
Her major works are documented on her website, www.alysonpou.com.
Summary of past works with themes related to “A Slight Headache”
Since the 1970s, Alyson Pou has incorporated film video, theater, dance and sculpture in a highly individual, frequently autobiographical aesthetic. Pou’s recent production “A Slight Headache” recalls themes that have appeared in many of her past projects.
Pou's "Black Rocks, Pearl Buttons" (1997) is a visual/performance work in which found objects, family keepsakes, natural history, and archeology were woven together to explore the power of memory and association.
"To Us At Twilight" (1995) was similarly themed. Thirty black dresses covered the floor and were folded, worn, piled and moved as a heritage of southern graveyards, bad blood, secrets and family loyalties were explored through a collage of dreams, recounted stories, objects, movement and tableaux.
"Danger House" (1987) featured five women, three girls, a stilt-walking magician, and music by William Basinski. The audience was presented with a series of stories and images woven together to created a beautiful, yet disturbing world. Pou's concerns in this piece were isolation, women's relationship to physical and non-physical violence, and the dichotomy of social conformity and spiritual freedom.
In an untitled work, exhibited at the High Museum in Atlanta in 1980, she installed two continuously repeating films, screened from opposite sides of a divided room. One was a series of close-ups of Pou having her hair cut. This was accompanied by a series of quotes about hair, including Nietzsche's "When I think of women, it is their hair which first comes to my mind. The very idea of womanhood is a storm of hair--black hair, red hair, golden hair and always a greedy little mouth somewhere behind the mirage of beauty." The other film was a porn flick on which was spliced the following questions: "Where does the power lie? Is the promotion of lust the dominant effect?"