“Friend Me,” which is not to say, “be my friend.” It’s something entirely different, something thin, nearly empty but for the wisps of longing which drift into the void via the screen of your phone or computer. Entirely deletable, yet likely the most used phrase being uttered these days, we can’t deny the way “friend me” rings as a sort of Orwellian (of course) simplification of language for people completely dependant upon the little Big Brother in their palms, to whom they’ve offered every piece of themselves.
In wanting to explore the private yet simultaneously public culture of teenagers and young adults, Chicago artist Kathy Halper, mother of two teens, logged on to Facebook, and her exploration yielded a sort of archeological map of modern language and the sensibility and humor of today’s youth. By using appropriated Facebook photos for starting points, the artist creates embroidered drawings of humans partying, talking about sex, and being young and dumb online. Halper then randomly pairs the embroidered drawings with captions from similar social networking sites, and what emerges are these delicate and hand-stitched snapshots, absolute encapsulations of a piece of our culture.
We’re intrigued by the idea that these spontaneously taken photos likely mean nothing to the people in them any longer, just transient images that will eventually disappear; yet embroidering such transience – setting it down in cloth – gives a historical weight and permanence to the fleeting moment.
From top to bottom:
Danceaholics – 19.5″ x 19″; FU – 18″ x 18″; Karaoke – 19.5″ x 19″; all embroidery on linen.