Can we really know ourselves?
Alex Nichols is an interdisciplinary artist born in San Francisco. She works with film, writing, photography, drawing, performance and installation. The use of the body is dominant in her work. Inquiring into the most existential question of our being “Can we really know ourselves?” Her work is playful, humorous and a constant dialogue with herself and her observations. Obsessed by language which she calls her word work and the power of movement and image she is looking at the smallest details that we build meaning from questioning the thin lines between reality, memory and illusion.
She has exhibited and performed locally and internationally and working with renowned institutions such as Headlands Center For The Arts, ZONAMACO Art Fair Mexico City, Djerassi, 18th Street Artist Residence Los Angeles, Bamboo Curtain Studios Taipei, SF Recology. With a graduate writing degree from California College of Arts.
What does it mean to be human, to be in context to life as it changes. I begin as an artist, as a woman. I begin in many roles. But what is the act of making? Through art I make worlds, testing possibilities. I make a small object that can be held in your hand, it’s just a few words on a piece of paper, it’s images on a reel with light projecting through, it’s an action of falling, but all these things I make are like guides, like maps, directing me.
What I’m trying to see is my own life, which can’t be conceived of in its presence, because it takes time to understand what our actions lead to. So I ask questions, and for every question there is a process.The process of taking the body through the question. If I want to know what the strings that bind me are, I gather the strings and bind myself. I look for a physical way of moving through the question. The evidence, the witness, is a video, photograph, novel, journal, performance, drawing, a set of instructions, a constraint, something that marks time.
Looking at meaning in every object, every movement, every interaction. There is a memory of an old way of thinking but it’s in the distance, I can’t quite see the shape of it, it’s like things I’m forgetting, I’ve changed. I’m always changing. How can this be documented and understood? I’m challenging social constructs, deconstructing the idea of what we are into what we can be.