Louise Ashcroft (b. 1983, Yorkshire, UK) lives and works in London. Speaking fantasy to power, Louise’s videos, installations and performances chronicle her playfully disruptive fieldwork in public places like shopping centres, trade fairs, online platforms, and the street. By directly challenging the rules of such contexts through her unexpected observations and comedic interventions, she questions the bizarre norms of late capitalism and offers up new myths which she weaves into poetic narratives relating to found images and improvised props. Ashcroft’s playfully antagonistic antics include mailing soil samples from former public squares in London to the overseas investors who now own the land; smuggling ‘foreign’ vegetables into supermarkets whose checkout staff can’t identify them; leading 'backwards shopping' workshops; or re-titling artworks in Tate Modern using post-it notes and a team of visiting school children.
Louise Ashcroft studied at Oxford University (Ruskin School of Art), Birkbeck College (University of London) and The Royal College of Art London. She teaches at Goldsmiths University, is co-founder of the alternative art school AltMFA.
Louise Ashcroft talks us through some of the anarchic antics that characterise her humorously inventive critiques of late capitalism; from subversive shopping mall workshops to redesigning the internet from scratch with kids. Projects such as an experimental housecleaning service which plans shared futures with strangers; street interventions like sending sweepings of former public spaces to their investor landowners, and her current quest to adapt the old bird box in her garden into a community sperm bank, deliberately misunderstand social protocol or take things too literally and too far. Accelerationism for idiots? Louise's performances, projects, videos and animations reveal capitalism's inherent absurdities and hint at alternative ways of living that are full of nihilistic, optimistic contradictions.