Allison Wyper uses her performance space as a site for critical investigation, focusing on collaboration, intimacy, and endurance. For Zero Down, Wyper will be performing as a fictitious character, Abby Ghraib, who “has traveled far and wide breaking hearts–and backs–at parties, museums, and theaters.” Assisting Wyper will be performance artist Karen Anzoategui, who will be brokering audience participants to pose with Abby Ghraib in their very own torture photo. Within each micro-performance, both the artist and participant are bound in a nonsensical exposition that is simultaneously humorous (like posing with your favorite character at a theme park) and haunting (placing one in direct dialogue with the tortured detainees of the infamous Abu Ghraib scandal of 2006). The interaction leads one to question their relationship to acts of violence, the news media, and our culture’s pleasure in passively viewing/actively participating in spectacle.
Allison holds an MFA from UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance, and a BA in Theatre Studies with concentrations in Directing and Visual Art from Emerson College. Her work has been seen in Los Angeles (at LACE, Highways Performance Space, LACMA, Hammer Museum, Fowler Museum, UCLA, Cal State Long Beach, REDCAT, and Craftswoman House), San Francisco (at the Performance Art Institute, Studio 24, Dance Mission, Yerba Buena Gardens, NOHspace, The Garage, and CounterPULSE), Boston (at Boston Center for the Arts, the ICA, in the Boston Cyberarts Festival, and Emerson College) and internationally, in Calgary, Berlin and Perth, Western Australia.