While some call it a masterpiece and others just don’t get it, Argentinian-born artist Amalia Ulman used Instagram to carry out a social art experiment in which she convinced followers that she was a social media ‘it’ girl and gained a lot of intrigue.
It began in 2014 where Ulman started posting alluring images of herself half naked and living an enviable life in Los Angeles. She began the project by posting a picture with the words “Part I” and “Excellences & Perfections” written underneath. A large amount of her Instagram posts consisted of flattering selfies, staying in boutique hotel rooms and her blissfully parading around L.A, she even shared a post breast enlargement surgery photograph with the caption “I’m safe n happy!! Soz for nsfw material and #frankenboob lol lookin forward to take bandages off…….”
It seemed like a promising and new young artist who had graduated from Central Saint Martins in London had been swept up by the over sharing narcissism of the digital age but that was all part of the experiment.
Around five months after her ‘Part I’ Instagram post, Ulman posted an image of a rose, captioned “The End.” She then proceeded to announce that her Instagram posts over the past five months had been a caricature of how some women and girls showcase themselves on Instagram and that she was essentially satirising how femininity is presented online via her social media accounts.
Ulman noted how she was inspired by stereotypes of how young women present themselves online and was in fact, playing a role, the familiar role of the flawless Instagram it girl, bombarded with likes and comments which in the end gained her over 89, 000 followers. She also landed the opportunity to showcase her work at the Whitechapel Gallery and Tate Modern in exhibitions that displayed the impact of digital technology on artists and performance photography.
To see more of Amalia Ulman’s work, click here.