Antonia Tibble questions ideals of femininity and beauty, wittily appropriating past aesthetics; for example here she examines the French Dauphine Marie Antoinette, delicately made-up, finished with a lavish headpiece. Tibble performs the female roles herself in these brilliant reconstructions; she edits the resulting photographs and videos, existing as both artist and subject.
Martin Parr has to be a favourite of mine. He was involved with the BBC documentary Signs of the times which takes a satirical look at modern society, especially consumerism, in addition to tourism, foreign travel, family and relationships. He examines national characteristics in order to understand culture peculiarities.
A trip to the Liverpool Biennial back in September enlightened me to a whole new world of video in the form of Ryan Trecartin. Presented in the UK for the first time, Trill-ogy Comp (2009) comprises three works: K-CoreaINC.K (section a),Sibling Topics (section a), and P.opular S.ky (section-ish). He is at the fore-front of a new generation of artists. Manipulating video and digital media. The videos are an amalgamation of all things which revolve around consumerism, the mass-produced and most of all identity, exploring a whole other level of aesthetics.
There is a constant element of change and no single point of view. Language and form is heavily influenced by the trends of popular culture, continually changing and hard to follow. The fragmented identities characterised by friends, family and the artist himself are high-pitched and incredibly fast paced, and the notions of narrative, gender and belonging are constantly intervening. Trill-ogoy Comp is presented as an installation between interconnected rooms beneath a former hardware store, a labyrinth of delusions. The films are edited in such a way that made me initially want to recoil; these condensed layers of visual, aural and emotionally disturbing scenes assaulted my senses, and then completely absorbed me, suddenly getting lost in this hyper-theatrical world of all things garish. Ultimately trying to draw myself away from the films caused the uneasy feelings of disorientation of being woken up in the very depths of a nonsensical dream.
This piece consists of a single US dollar bill sculpted from coloured sand cased inside plastic, transparent boxes. From the opening of the exhibition, a colony of live ants is introduced and for the duration of the exhibition they tunnel through the sand, gradually destroying the image. The tireless labour of the ants undermines the symbol of American might, power and money. When the image has virtually disappeared, the ants are set free.