Author’s Talk: Alison Bancroft
A sold out event recorded live at the Freud Museum London on 24 September 2012.
There is an increasing trend within both the study of visual culture and fashion itself to restore fashion to an aesthetic role – one that moves beyond its commercial success as a global industry and places fashion within a nexus of art, the body, and femininity. This emphasis aims to separate fashion from mere clothing, and illustrate its cultural power as an integral aspect of modern life.
In this innovative new book, Alison Bancroft re-examines significant moments in twentieth century fashion history through the focal lens of psychoanalytic theory. Her discussion centres on studies of fashion photography, haute couture, queer dressing, and fashion/art in an attempt to shed new light on these key issues.
According to Bancroft, problems of subjectivity are played out through fashion, in the public arena, and not just in the dark, unknowable unconscious mind. The question of what can be said, and what can only be experienced, and how these two issues may be reconciled, become questions that fashion addresses on an almost daily basis.
By interpreting fashion within a psychoanalytic frame, Bancroft illustrates how fashion articulates some of the essential, and sometimes frightening, truths about the body, femininity and the self.
Alison Bancroft is a writer and cultural critic. She specialises in interdisciplinary approaches to modern and contemporary art and visual culture, and is committed to working across all media and contexts. Her research interests include visual culture and theory, psychoanalytic thought, and sexualities. She was awarded her PhD by the University of London in 2010.
Fashion and Psychoanalysis: Styling the Self is published by I.B Tauris