Alison Jackson's work is about simulation. Creating a clone or a copy of the ‘real’ on paper. It is not a fake, it takes the place of the‘real’ for a moment. The real subject becomes ‘not necessary’. The image or icon is more important and more seductive.
Her aim is to explore the blurred boundaries between reality and the imaginary – the gap and confusion between thetwo. She uses lookalikes of celebrities and public figures to create a seemingly real documentary scenario which is in fact a fiction. Likeness becomes real and fantasy touches on the believable. The viewer is suspended in disbelief. She tries to highlight the psychological relationship between what we see and what we imagine. This is bound up in our need tolook – our voyeurism – and our need to believe. As Baudrillard puts it, simulation is different from feigning. Feigning is pretending, such as, feigning illness or pretending to be ill. The subject is not ill, just seeming to be, but ‘simulation threatens the difference between‘true’ and ‘false’, between ‘real’ and ‘imaginary’. Since the simulator produces ‘true’ symptoms – is he ill or not? He cannot be treated objectively either as ‘ill’ or ‘not ill’.’ This is what she aims to do: create likeness of icons where in image – on paper – the simulation of icons, ‘threatens thedifference between ‘true’ and ‘false’, between ‘real’ and ‘imaginary’.’ It doesn’t matter if it isn’t the ‘real’ icon – as long as it looks like him or her – it creates a temporary confusion. She searches for this confusion and aim to create it within my work. She explores to what extent she should create complete fantasy pictures not connected to anything ‘true’ or ‘real’ and the relevance of the connection to something ‘true’. She believes you cannot rely on your own perception when it comes tophotography. She proves the camera lies.