Wesley John Fourie

HYPERBALLAD (Superstar) (2023)

4 min 33 secSingle channel / Digital Video / Colour / Sound

Superstar is the first work in Wesley John Fourie's HYPERBALLAD series, and was originally created for the artist's solo exhibition maybe i’m just like a gust of wind, held at Enjoy Contemporary Art Space, Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington in 2023.

In the work, Fourie performs to a soundtrack of the Sonic Youth cover of The Carpenters' song Superstar—a song about feeling helplessly in love with someone—while themselves feeling helplessly in love with someone. Filmed in the artist's studio, Fourie performs next to the textile installation exhibited in maybe i'm just like a gust of wind. The indentations on the floor-based work mark where Fourie and their ex lover lay together the last time they saw each other.

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, set to a pop music beat. Considering the online realm as a platform for storytelling, these works also possess a sinister quality, exploring the potential for heartfelt honesty to slip into self-exposure and voyeurism.

Other works in this series

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