Alistair Gentry


Self Portrait after Vincent Van Gogh’s Self Portrait with Bandaged Ear. “As far as I can judge, I am not actually mentally ill.” Vincent Van Gogh, 1889, shortly after cutting off part of his ear and giving it to a prostitute.

I’m a writer and artist or an artist and writer… sometimes other things, too.

I live in the UK. The work I make for publication, performance, broadcast and installation is often “subversive” (SFX), at times “startling” (The Independent) and occasionally even “fascinating” (The Times). Wikipedia classifies me as a “Science Fiction Artist”. I’m not sure what the anonymous Wikipedians and/or their taxonomical algorithm were thinking, nor am I entirely sure what it signifies, but I like to imagine it means I’m an artist from science fiction. Perhaps a character in a William Gibson novel?


Nowhere Plains, performance lectures/live webcasts (2005-2008)

I take part in gallery exhibitions, art and film festivals, readings, workshops and real-world incursions throughout my home country, the rest of Europe, and the world. I also write for blogs and magazines. Highlights of my career so far include the publication of two novels, being artist in residence at the University of Edinburgh’s Genomics Policy & Research Forum, exhibiting my films at La Biennale di Venezia, being awarded the Berwick Gymnasium Artist Fellowship by English Heritage and Arts Council England, and working in Japan on absolutely anything. 私は日本語を話します私を招待してくださいIn 2010 I wrote a successful memoir of being a fairly unsuccessful artist, Career Suicide, which you can buy by clicking the link to the left. I accidentally set up the planet Earth’s number one online source for the full and unexpurgated erotic letters of James Joyce.


Danse Macabre from Magickal Realism, performance lecture & video (2009-2013)

My inspiration comes from historical and contemporary folklore, esoterica and Forteana of Britain, Europe and Asia, traditional oratory and storytelling, legitimate mainstream sciences and the fringe or pseudo-sciences that go along with them. I’ve also collaborated with real scientists although I’m definitely not a scientist. Artists who say they’re investigating or interrogating things are annoying, but sometimes I use scientific or academic research methods earnestly, sometimes satirically. I like putting the fiction in science. I also like creepy old mannequins, broken toys, silly costumes, museums, absurdity and making technology do things its manufacturers wouldn’t approve of. Read a 2011 interview with me by fellow writer and artist Iain Aitch here or one I did in 2014 here.


Stendhal Syndrome, performance lecture & video (2011)

I was a founder of Market Project: professional and economic research by artists (2010-2013). Until 2012 I was an Associate Artist at ArtSway, having worked with them in various capacities since 2002. Then they closed down due to arts funding cuts. This still makes me sad. For most of my career I’ve worked collaboratively with other artists, writers, designers, actors, architects, scientists and audiences. I constantly seek new opportunities to make, exhibit and talk about my work, to perform or do readings, and to forge new and lasting connections with interesting people or places, so I really welcome enquiries and communication.

I post regularly on Twitter, and it’s a good place to make contact with me and ask questions if you want to. You can also contact me via the BIO/CV menu at the top of this page, or through my page. My critical writing about contemporary art has most recently been published by a-n, Garageland and The Guardian.


Three Times True, video installation (2007 & 2013)

In the spring of 2013 Three Times True was revived for exhibition in London. In the second half of 2013 I performed Magickal Realism at MUSAC in Spain (where my work was also in an exhibition until mid 2014), and I performed Artbollocks Theatre for the internet and live on stage in London. In 2014 I started work on a script commission (on hold for now) and a new book called Gentlemen and Players, which is still in progress. I collaborated with several public galleries to help them improve their communication with the public. My performances were shown at b-Side festival 2014 in Portland and at Outcasting: Fourth Wall in Cardiff. A new book about performance lectures by artists (including me and my work) came out. I started 2015 in the northeast of Scotland, working with digital fabrication equipment including a 3D printer and laser cutter. Then I returned to Portland again, followed by a tour through Japan in the autumn. I also worked with a-n The Artists’ Information Company through 2014 and 2015 on their Paying Artists campaign, and continue to do so.

The latest updates about my work are always on Blog/News page first.

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