Wesley John Fourie

HYPERBALLAD (Like A Virgin) (2024)

4 min 40 secSingle channel / Digital Video / Colour / Sound

HYPERBALLAD (Like A Virgin) is the latest video in Wesley John Fourie's ongoing HYPERBALLAD series. In this work, the artist performs alongside Madonna's infamous song in their studio. The painting in the background depicts Fourie and a former boyfriend—nicknamed 'the jackal'—in a moment of explicit sexual passion. Unlike other works in the series, here the artist uses additional props (such as the stripper pole) in their performance, and directly employs irony as a tool of communication.

Part of the series HYPERBALLAD (2023-24).

HYPERBALLAD is a video-based body of work by Wesley John Fourie that references their study of narcissism in psychoanalysis as well as the classical myth of Narcissus, reimagined through contemporary internet culture and pop music. These performances to camera are shot in the artist’s studio in Ōtepoti, and use available objects (hammers, scissors, wine bottles, bananas, coffee jars, etc.) as stunt microphones to sing along to love songs dedicated to someone (or 'something')—both real and abstract—on the other side of the screen. Part cathartic rambling, part karaoke goodness, Fourie takes on the role of the jester, the popstar, or anyone seeking their twenty minutes of fame. They invite us into a manufactured world of vulnerability, where the trope of the tortured artist in the studio meets Tumblr girl-style confessional. Considering the online realm as a platform for storytelling, these works also possess a more sinister quality, exploring the potential for heartfelt honesty to slip into self-exposure and voyeurism.

Other works in this series

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