Anna Dean is a feminist performer, artist and writer, working the dialectics of gender and (e)motion. Her recent work aims to address the tension between voyeurism and self-reflection through live and video-based performances. For Dean, working as a feminist performance artist means challenging an art historical narrative in which female image is necessarily objectification over personal representation, self-reflection, and communication. Due to this concern, she has gravitated closer towards the ‘feminine’ image, an image she values as her own, rather than away from it, as the starting point and site of her work.
Dean is interested in claiming autonomy through the image, directing gaze in performance and video through sustained occupation rather than the destruction of her femme aesthetic. Dean is particularly interested in the figure who both watches, and is watched. Working with the ‘technological uncanny’ and the mirror image, she creates double visions of herself to reflect and refract her experience of gaze in relation to feminist questions of identity. Appearing in her own work, Dean crafts her space as personal, but not intimate. On video, Dean embraces herself as the figure of the bedroom dancer and the bedroom artist, and values the individual space she affords to herself through doing so. In live performance, Dean engenders a boundary between her and her audience through framing the formal elements of her showing.
Dean has exhibited and performed across London, in Folkestone and Berlin. Dean studies MA Theatre and Performance at Queen Mary University of London. Dean studies Tanztheatre and contemporary dance improvisation with Adrian Look and is a member of Writers Lab at Soho Theatre, where she is developing her writing for stage.