Amelia Crouch profile

Amelia Crouch.jpg

Amelia Crouch

University of the Arts London ()


Dr Maria Walsh


Episodic self-display and shifting modes of address: Performing identity in artists' moving image in a neoliberal era of post-truth


My research seeks to investigate the performative construction of identity and its potential destabilisation in moving image artworks. The context for the study is neoliberalism – understood not only as a political and economic doctrine, championing private property and free markets (Harvey, 2005), but also as a regime of subjectification (Foucault, 2010) that prioritises individualism, self-management and resilience (Louth & Potter, 2017).

Working with participants – who will be chosen because they represent a 'successful' enactment of aspects of neoliberal identity – I intend to make moving image artworks that appropriate, reconfigure and attempt to undermine languages, gestures and locations of neoliberalism. Taking recent British political history as a case study – in particular New Labour policy and rhetoric surrounding work and welfare – my artworks will explore whether compositional strategies of quotation, disjunctive montage and repetition can effectively highlight the presumptions (of a rational, free possessive individual) and perversions (denial of social dependency) of neoliberal policy.

Theories of (dis)identification, attention and affect will be consulted alongside sociological and psychological studies into neoliberal selfhood to elucidate why disenfranchised citizens emotionally invest in neoliberal identities. A relationship is posited between neoliberal governance (described by Mirowski as 'double truth') and our current post-truth era (seen as prioritising individualised, emotional meanings over fact). This raises crucial questions about the contemporary efficacy of different strategies within artists' moving image (e.g. informational vs. emotive modes of address) – which will be tested in practice.

The project has pedagogic intent, using the moving image to raise critical consciousness of the problems of neoliberalism. At the same time it aims to propose the possibility of enacting alternative, collective subjectivities via the moving image. Bodily gesture and multi-voiced speeches will be developed with the goal of revealing social and embodied aspects of identity repressed within the neoliberal ideal.