Anastasia Booth crafts objects as apparatus or flawed erotic subject. By merging the languages of fetishism, mythology and personal anecdote, she ponders, can the artist as an agentive figure fight off gendered limitations and her own sexual failures. The dialogues she dabbles in can be problematic and contradictory, where no real answer is forthcoming.
Sometimes, fetish strategies of mimicry, abstraction and subversion are used with combative intent - to pry apart historic formulas - but more often than not, the artworks emerge from poetic mishap. Leather, glass, lustrous metals, ready-made sex toys, timber, hair and lube form dysfunctional apparatuses, which build perplexing relationships to orifices and appendages. Situated in a liminal zone these fetish instruments engage with imitation and confuse it with the genuine. A trace of material recalls the erotic body despite any prior purpose, the benign and seemingly innocent surface enacting pleasure. As props for an illusory narrative, they become the site of psychological projection, our interaction inherently phantasmic. Interestingly, the simulation can fail when the objects are unable to sustain the desires being forcibly grafted onto them. There is great potential in this, the slippage of the personal ideal as arousal becomes absurd and impotent. These forms sit in counterpoint to Anastasia's refined, decoratively sumptuous sculptural and performed embodiments. Anastasia enamoured with ancient female figures - for their ribald or monstrous qualities - situates herself in their place recreating their forms and acts artistically as a process of emancipation. There is humour in all this. Laughter is a buffer against that which we find offensive and disquieting. Humour can come from a perceived threat towards the viewer, when the artwork is symbolic of a violation or the enactment of what the audience believes is taboo.
Anastasia lives and works in Brisbane, Australia. She refined her craft at the Queensland University of Technology, completing her Practice-led Honours and Doctoral study. Her work has been exhibited nationally, including projects at The Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Institute of Modern Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, University of Queensland Museum, Griffith University Art Museum, Milani Gallery CARPARK, Screen Space, The Australian Experimental Art Foundation and was artist in residence at Metro Arts and Outer Space. She also designs and delivers workshops, as well as public programs in museums and galleries.