Alice Butler

Email: aliceelisabethbutler@gmail.com
Website: http://www.alicebutler.org.uk/

Previous Education

MA Critical Writing in Art & Design, Royal College of Art, 2011-2013;
BA First Class Honours English Literature and Art History, University of Sussex, 2008-2011

Thesis title

Close Writing: The Personal Performances of Kathy Acker, Dodie Bellamy, Cookie Mueller, Eileen Myles and Chris Kraus

Supervisors

Professor Carol Mavor and Dr Ian McGuire

Research Summary

Close Writing: The Personal Performances of Kathy Acker, Dodie Bellamy, Cookie Mueller, Eileen Myles and Chris Kraus stages a correspondence between disciplines and decades of feminist art and literary history, as it considers the 1980s-2000s fiction and nonfiction texts of its authors as literary extensions of feminist performance art. The project argues that the ways in which the personal texts of Acker, Bellamy, Mueller, Myles and Kraus perform sex, the body and biography, often using ‘adolescent’ writing forms, constitutes a radical mode of feminist authorship, inasmuch as their autobiographical performances confront the boundaries of public and private, relating to “rules” surrounding gender, sexuality and writing. Such a disregard for censorship is central to my theorisation of this “close writing”. It represents an intervention into the ways we might begin to read contemporary women’s experimental writing as more then just a formal aesthetic, by placing it within the frame of feminist performance.

Research interests

Experimental literature; feminist art, writing and and theory; queer theory and literature; autobiography; performance studies; art writing; twentieth century and contemporary art; the archive

Publication

Alice is a widely published art writer, contributing regularly to the art press, including Cabinet, Art Monthly and frieze. She was the winner of the Frieze Writer’s Prize in 2012, and has written catalogue essays for artists including Lucy Clout and Marianna Simnett, Kate Lyddon and Joanna Rajkowska. An essay on the life and work of Cookie Mueller is to be published in the next issue of Cabinet magazine and utilises recent archival research at Fales Library & Special Collections, New York University, where Alice was recently on a fellowship, and where she also gave a lecture on the image and writing of Cookie Mueller. A list of Alice’s publications and talks can be found here: http://www.alicebutler.org.uk/about/