video installation. 01:02:00, no sound, scraped images, captions and likes

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The video has been composed with images from Instagram gathered by a scraping algorithm searching the hashtag ‘couplegoals’, along with captions and likes. The work is an investigation of the ways everyday love and affection are expressed, and declared online, specifically on Instagram. They raise questions about the increasingly dissolving barrier between the public and the private, the difference between the virtual and the real, the staged and the banal, as well as the gap that exists between the visible and the invisible in the digital domain. In addition, it looks into the iconography of digital self- representation in relation to romantic love and into the different tropes of digital self-performativity.

Finally, it aims to engender questions about those virtual, carefully edited and ‘framed’ representations of love in the Internet versus the reality of real-time romantic relationships. We find ourselves in a voyeuristic position of observing couples and reading their intimate declarations of love and dedication and voluntary relinquishment of privacy. A long narrative based on the collected captions accompanies the visuals. The captions exist in their own right, as an autonomous ‘script’, while at the same time providing detailed insight a global tendency that feeds on followers and likes.

Katerina Gregos, curator

The work was commissioned for the exhibition Modern Love (or Love in the Age of Cold Intimacies) Museum für Neue Kunst, Freiburg (DE): 2 October 2020 – 7 March 2021; Tallinn Art Hall (EE) 12 June – 5 September 2021; IMPAKT, Utrecht, NL (Autumn | Winter 2021 - 2022).