videostill “be my monika”, 7:28 min, HD 9:16, 2020
The project idle idol monika is a cross media interplay of animation and painting. On a screen a female, – except for high heels – undressed avatar repeats different poses in an isolated virtual environment.
This fictive site de-contextualizes the animated body, similar to the physical space of Palazzina, which is dominated by a metallic floor and a drawn grid on the walls. Various unmodified sequences of movements — commonly perceived as female — are combined in an endless loop and drift into the absurd through their repetition and rigidity. Patterns of movement such as the avatar frequently falling to the floor come to light and reveal regressive stereotypes. Usually used as templates for the gaming industry, these exercise-like sequences make us aware of how dangerous and falsifying virtual representations of the human body can be. Properties with a particularly feminine connotation, such as nail polish or make-up, appear exaggerated and call into question the differentiation between typically female, male or diverse.
A white, three-dimensional “painting” could serve as a fragment of a more comprehensive, abstract, physical portrait of the virtual character monika in space. The assemblage of ruffles and flounces appears as an encoded translation of virtual reality and refers throughout the installation to questions of identity, gender and self-determination, while at the same time questioning the way we deal with avatars – who could soon become our idols.
installation view at Palazzina, Basel
installation view ” idle idol monika” HD video, 1: 47 min, 2020
idle idol monika
this project idle idol monika is an inter-medial interplay between animation, painting, and bought object, installed physically in the exhibition-space of Palazzina, in Basel, and is going to be shown exclusively virtual and through digital media.
The installation shows a HD video on the narrow wall showing a female avatar bought on the internet, performing repeatedly, various poses in an isolated, virtual environment. A monochrome, 3- dimensional painting with ruffles is put on another wall of the space . A pair of second hand shoes bought on the internet, influenced by the type of shoe seen in the video, are standing on the floor. All walls show a finger-painted grid, out of charcoal powder for mouth wash. The floor is covered with metallic looking, grid marked floor panels for construction and isolation.
For the video I bought an all license free, avatar out of the category female character and introduced it to another website offering rigging and animation of generic idle movements for avatars, usually serving the game industry and general virtual usages. The avatar itself and its performing poses in the video are used without any changements of appearance nor alternation of any kind made by the artist.
The video recordings of the screen were put into the video and are showing the character performing these suggested poses one after the other in a permanent flow. The bought avatar stays in its original environment of the website for generic animation while several appearing glitches and and non realistic looking movements are influencing the actual aesthetic of the overall video and are not altered as well.
By isolating and de-contextualising the character, these exercise-like, repeating movements of suggested female poses, show to some extend, it’s absurdity and radically dangerous image-making and miss-leading outcome.
In the painting „my monika” I interpret parts of the digital image space of the new video „be my Monika“, with a white monochrome, three-dimensional object picture, by applying ruffles and flounces, which refer to the movements, constructed environment and the fictional mental state of the avatar just as an abstract portrait of the virtual character monika. the paintings occur as coded translations of the virtual reality and can be understood as fragments of an extensive self-portrait.
The complete installation could be seen as an experimental snapshot and abstract portrait of several female „beings“ represented in the virtual world as much as in the analogue
while raising several questions about gender, self-determination, self-construction, identity and very much interrogate future handling of personal avatars in a highly technical environment, representations in the virtual world that might become our new idols.
videostills “be my monika”, HD video, 9:16, 7:28 min, 2020