The addictive force of the internet is real, and who knows this better than Aurélie Bayad (°1994, FR). In a post-internet world, where IRL increasingly merges with URL, new possibilities of being seep into our daily lives. In her versatile art practice, Bayad confronts us with the messy desires of our hyperreal identities. She carefully constructs personae to live up to online rules and expectations, set by fake likes and dark web erotics. In slimy and gooey, ugly and disgusting, cheap and glittery environments, we watch her unfold the toxic dynamics of luring someone into her social love trap. With heart-pounding soundtracks in the back, she fearlessly looks into the lens, as if asking us: ‘What is your real personality? What is real beauty? What is your true desire, your fetish? Who do you want me to see?’ Bayad uses her camera and her body to reveal the harmful relationships that are brought forth by the consequences of hyperreal expectations in the real world. Should we all ‘get a grip’, or should we start loving ourselves?
Work in Sugar for the Pill:
• Crush Machine, 2020. Video installation, screen pint and paint on textile.
With a raw imagery, a bit of leg hair and a strong taste for the strange and disturbing, Aurélie Bayad models and shapes bodies in front of the camera. Hers, or those of other people. With her, everything is a pretext for a new shoot: a song, the discovery of an incongruous place, or even a new accessory. She just manages to catch the attention of the viewer in a round-trip between voyeurism, exhibitionism and intimacy in the age of the internet. (Text by Céline Mathieu)