A local artist has come to my attention, her name is Sandrine De Araujo.
I heard of Sandrine when she was declined exhibition space at Hive, one of the local government council’s buildings, due to the nature of her work. I believe it was because her work is required to be “installed” rather than just “displayed”. (Here’s where my artistic ignorance becomes obvious, I’m not sure if this is the right terminology). Essentially, Sandrine’s exhibition is designed to be semi permanent and cover walls and floors and protected so it can be walked on and the facility couldn’t support this. It seems she is having quite some difficulty gaining this type of exhibition space here in typically conservative Adelaide, which is a shame.
Sandrine studied visual art in France at Dijon’s Art School where she majored in video installation. Her work has been selected for some short film festivals and she is undertaking some freelance work which has included an advertisement for the Stag Hotel which shows in some cinemas before the movies. She gained an exhibition last year with the Reading Room on Hindley Street, Adelaide and it is possible to view this exhibited work on the X-change website which is an art collective she is a part of.
Sandrine’s work highlights the influence the media has on our expectations and how we view ourselves. Everyday we are bombarded with images on tv, magazines, social media, billboards – all of which provide us with distorted images of reality. Images that we, society, often try and emulate and then become frustrated when we don’t live up to those distorted and unrealistic expectations.
In Sandrine’s words:
The concept of my work is about the media and the influence they have on today’s modern life, in general.
It has become so intense that we tend to not filter what we are taking from them. It seems people get spoon-feed with all information, true or false, without questioning themselves about their reliability or their veracity.
The magazines I use for my work present, like most media, a distortion of the reality by being a wall between the information and us but also by being transcribed in a very subjective manner.
With my drawings, I intend to put the emphasize on the distortion of the information, by altering images that have been already distorted.
I guess those types of magazines intrigue me. They deliver information in a short, simple form of words, punctuated with a large amount of low quality images. They look like to me like a bad quality comic, or works for the illiterate.
The fact that magazines like those exist, means that there is a clientele for it. A clientele who does not have the courage or the time to choose the quality of their information.
I tend to agree with Sandrine but it can be so difficult not to get sucked into the vortex that is today’s media. It’s everywhere, it’s instant and has infiltrated every aspect of our daily living. Now, more than ever, information is literally available at our fingertips but is it sending the right message or simply brainwashing us with a new definition of “normal”?
And how do you escape it? Should we expect or try to escape? What is the impact if we don’t? Are any of us going to throw out our flatscreen tv’s, our iphone 5’s and live like hermits in the middle of a desert with no internet connection just to cut ourselves off from the exposure?
Sandrine’s idea for an exhibition is ultra cool and I’d love to see it come to life. Perhaps highlighting the issue can help built resistance to view and understand the distortion for what it really is.
I am planning to do as much as I can, to fill up the entire walls of a future exhibition space. I will cover the floor with torn up magazines, put on a layer of two of polish. (People will be able to walk on it). By this, I want to draw a parallel between the amount of the images I produce and the amount of the information we generate. I want to saturate the room, like we are saturated with images and information.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the occasional trashy “read” as much as the next girl. If only just to distract me while I get my hair done, ironically, just like my latest, unrealistic, fashion icon…
How do you feel about today’s media influence?
If you, or anyone you know, is interested in holding an exhibition like this please contact Sandrine via her website, I’m sure she’d love to hear from you!