Body Alphabet

Body Alphabet


Amandine Alessandra is a freelance photographer and graphic designer based in London. After a Masters in Fine Arts & Aesthetics from the Université de Provence in 2003, she moved to the UK where she runs her own photographic practice since 2007 and graduated with a Masters in Graphic Design from the London College of Communication in 2009.

Since setting up her practice in January 2010, she has worked with the University of the Arts London, Euro RSCG, Optimus Kanguru, DesignMarketo, Selfridges, and more recently ALSTOM .

A contributor to publications by Gestalten (Germany), Rotovision (UK), Mark Batty (US), Sandu (China), Laurence King (UK), Paperdolls (Netherlands), Slanted (Germany) and Étapes Magazine (France), she is also a visiting lecturer at Bedfordshire University, London College of Communication and the Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts of Beirut, Lebanon.

One of her most significant artwork is her body/object alphabet. A way for a word to tell more. Below are some of them, dragged from her portfolio.


Second version of the Mapplethorpe alphabet, using the American photographer’s world as a mood board. This is part of my research on how to get a letter to mean more than it reads.


The Body Type alphabet is an experiment on possible organic letterforms emerging when reframing the body.
It uses the analogy between typesetting terminology and vocabulary for the human body: anatomy, body size, head piece, footers, leg, eye, arms, chin, hairline.


This series is based on Thomas Fuller’s statement A book that is shut is but a block.
Shelves are used as a typographic grid; books are considered for their shape and colour, rather than content.
Building up the letters reminded me very much of typesetting, as every type made of coloured books had to be blocked with white books, just as it is done in letterpress, where large areas of white space are created by the wooden blocks called furniture.


The series Take a seat and say something uses a chair as a matrix for an alphabet. Each letter is a meaningless installation if seen on its own, but becomes decipherable when a few of them are put together as words. Objects become readable.


The use of people’s body as a display medium in exchange for money has been a fairly common vision in the streets of London for almost two hundred years. One of the only work prospects for non-English speakers involves standing on a busy street while holding printed advertising at the end of a stick or wearing it on boards around their neck, a position known as human billboard).
Using the human body as a message display facility is a way of evading a tax on advertising by making it mobile, but also by using the humanity of the subject and its “freedom of speech” as a legal argument.

The flexibility of this casual form of communication, combined with the performative potential of togetherness, provided the right components to start thinking of a malleable letterform expressing an ephemeral message.

A collaboration with Euro RSCG, using this principle, here.


Dance with me is an alphabet based on 26 choreographic micro-pieces. Long-exposure photography reveals each letter, invisible to the naked eye.