Wesley John Fourie

HYPERBALLAD (The Jackal) (2023)

5 min 29 secSingle channel / Digital Video / Colour / Sound

In HYPERBALLAD (The Jackal), Wesley John Fourie performs in their studio to the eponymous song by Ronny Jordan with Dana Bryant, in which the protagonist reminisces about a man nicknamed 'the jackal'. Cool, charismatic, attractive, stylish; as the lyrics go, the jackal is "the man who changed my life." This work was made shortly after Fourie briefly rekindled a passionate affair with an ex-boyfriend, themselves nicknamed 'the jackal' by the artist. For Fourie, this past relationship was formative in catalysing their confessional way of working, through which the artist processes experiences of love, loss and queerness.

In an earlier conception, The Jackal is a textile work by Fourie, a blanket inscribed with embroidered poems, texts, and flowers.

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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