Within the US, initial embodiment of the ‘American Dream’ has long passed, becoming corroded and toxic through endless interpretation and dilution. An ideal of continuing metamorphosis and distortion of which many have rejected. However, in Europe there is still an allure for some who seek to transcend the monotony of life at home through embracing romanticised narratives and clichés.  

Alongside our positioning in Europe post Brexit, the American 2020 election and its impact on the UK, we see further complexities to our so-called 'special relationship' making questions around identity relevant. During uncertain times and amongst the deep-rooted pervasiveness of western individualism and popular culture, the desire to retreat into worlds of fantasy can offer sanctuary for some.

The Flesh & the Fantasy explores British individuals and communities who adopt alternative lifestyles and asks what it means to appropriate additional cultural traits whilst maintaining a sense of identity, belonging, community and home.

This project has been supported by GRAIN projects and Arts Council England. The dummy can be found in the Martin Parr Foundation and Photobook Museum, Cologne as part of 2020 Photobook Kassel Award.
Dummy - Hardback 200 x 250mm, perfect bound, 107 pages.
Design - Wild Ilk




©Andy Pilsbury 2021