If Juliet was set in 2020 would she be using Bumble?
Would Adam be a soft boi on tinder?
Would Venus ask for nudes if she had a phone?
What are romantic relationships in our twenty-first century society filled with algorithms, compatibility and over-planned messages?
Profile Gallery's Space 2: “Swipe Right” attempts to explore the new forms of romance and connection in a digital age.
With an estimated 32% of modern relationships having started online, our understanding of romance and intimacy has shifted to unprecedented mating behaviours, new patterns of intimate communication and a commodification of love through online dating services.
The users of apps like Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, Grindr (to name a few) are encouraged to follow a constantly updated “sexual script”. Placing emphasis on how a text is written, what emojis to use and what they represent. Instead of offering the other a rose when courting, a simple “eggplant emoji” elicits a sexual encounter. Hidden behind a screen, users are able to self-reflect- analysing their identity and brand.
Through an exciting array of strategies, the six artists: Chloe Austin, Jacyln Brown, Louise Burns, Rodrigo Domingos, Charlie Steele & Colette Slater-Barrass have explored the concept of self and relationships influenced by the online dating sphere. It was important to include artists who venture into all areas of physical and non-physical relationships; addressing short rendezvous to established relationships.
Each artist was invited to reflect on their perception of digital encounters. Chloe Austins performative videos address the “lack of human contact due to our ever-evolving digital environment.” Colette Slater-Barrass’ romantic photographic reflections on couples being apart during the lockdown period, encouraging a sense of empathy and compassion.
Every week for one month we are releasing one work by each of the six artists. This way the artists' narratives are forming the shape of the whole exhibition which is crucial to both PG and to us, the curators, as we are constantly trying to find novel ways of approaching curation.
Conceptually, we aimed to address the playfulness of online dating. Rodrigo Domingos, Louise Burns and Jaclyn Brown negotiate their own experiences of dating apps, and Charlie Steele’s humorous illustrative depictions of romantic slang, the viewer is encouraged to relate to the ups and downs of virtual communication.
By swiping right through the artworks on the screen, the viewer is placed within the realm of their own profile within a dating app. The layout of the exhibition constitutes an environment of self-reflection- how do we negotiate virtual relationships?