Wesley John Fourie

HYPERBALLAD (Primadonna Girl)

HYPERBALLAD (Primadonna Girl) is a performative response to the artist being told by a former lover that they were a narcissist. In reply, Wesley John Fourie created a series of self portraits that were then blown up to larger-than-life size as billboards. In this work, Fourie performs to the song Primadonna Girl by Marina and the Diamonds, with one of these outsized self-portraits visible in the background of their studio. The work is a reflection on self-acceptance and the ability to turn a supposedly negative characteristic into a force for creative production.

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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