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Ann Course
Except for a 'Get Out!' at the end of Shitbelt (2000), Ann Course is not really addressing her audience. She does not create her work with the purpose of direct communication and so there are no caricatures or specific cartoon-situations in her stream of images.

If there is any dialogue with a recognisable context, than it is with the art world. As mentioned, two of her films already deal directly with the status of the artist in their titles. In other films, the artist also appears to be the main character of the film. Explicit references to well known artworks are rather rare. In Waiting for Waste there is a curious animation of a Mondrian painting, but just as familiar are the many pipes and tubes with fluids oozing out of them. Shit, vomit, semen, blood : although made up of only a few simple pencil lines, this vitalistic universe seems related to the transgressive world of, for instance, the artist Paul McCarthy. Anal regression, uninhibited celebration of the so-called lower bodily functions, the beauty here is usually pretty convulsive.

Which doesn't mean that schock value is all that Course is after. Obviously incorporating nazi-emblems and hanging parents on the gallows, dropping a baby from a carriage or suggesting an abortion is flirting with taboos. But usually a shock is the result of a surprise effect. In the work of Ann Course, there are no real such highlights or dramatic climaxes. Her indecent iconography comes in a steady stream of equivalent images, like hieroglyphs. More than a cunning, intellectual play with Freudian categories, her work is an intuitive summoning up of archetypal motifs and situations. One might say the drawings attest to a sort of manic passion, the kind we associate first and foremost with 'art brut' artists. Often the scenes she evokes are oppressive and primitive, devoid of all civilized norms, psychotic. On the other hand, these sketches are far from vague symbols, they are extremely topical. The same violent iconography of absurd alienation and pornographic brutality, of groping hands, hungry eyes and lost faces is also omnipresent in everyday life via the porn-industry, reality television and rampant advertising. Course's work does not add to this kind of visual assault. If anything, it is an attempt to control or somehow exorcise the daily onslaught.

Still from Waiting for Waste by Ann Course in collaboration with Paul Clarke, 2003
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