Iphones, Instagram, teenage/ twenty-something neurosis, luxe branding – the age of “me, myself and I” – it’s these qualities that gives definition to Wise’s personality, humour, and ultimately her works. Twenty-four-year-old Canadian-born painter, sculptor, and video artist Wise gives her version behind bagels, pancakes and “Literally Me.”
Do you feel that you are among a generation of artists where art has become more of a social commentary, like another political voice – or a critique on where our generation is going with all our self-broadcasting neurosis?
Art has always been and will always continue to be a vehicle for social commentary and criticism. Like any generation I think my peers and I are responding to our surroundings and environment in the ways that we feel comfortable. Self-broadcasting is certainly one of these ways.
Given you explore within “Literally Me” the context of “self-broadcasting,” & narcissism, why do you think our generation has adapted so fast to this “technique” of self-expression?
Our generation has a great need to constantly produce and consume images and evidence of existence. Self-documentation is a way with which we curate our personas and represent ourselves. Our Iphones have a front facing camera, begging the user to engage in self documentation, reinforcing the fluidity and immediacy with which we do document our lives, faces, food, outfits, surroundings, and so on. The banal or personal details of our lives are then broadcasted with the same gravity and importance as images of the news, or photos of celebrities, or sublime nature, on the endless scroll of social media platforms. This is democratization of images and identity, and I think our generation really gravitates towards this democratization of speech, images, and access. There is also this policing of people who engage in narcissistic activities, namely women- people tend to place judgement on others for these behaviours. “Literally Me” was my way of satirizing the way people perceive my gen- eration and I as narcissistic for partaking in these activities.
Is there a fine line between your art, which depicts narcissism and the banality of luxury and commerce, and yourself, your own identity within all if this?
Yes and no. My work is on the one hand extremely honest and embarrassing and incorporates my real sense of humour, personality, and self.. but at the same time there’s a lot of inflated, exaggerated and skewed persona that permeates my own self representation in my work, which is part of my commentary on the way with which we are able to present ourselves in any chosen way on social media.
What are your neurosis?
Instagram and Twitter. Twitter is like poetry and comedy combined for me.
Your recent work that you’ve introduced in Vimeo, Behind: ØndskapStrand – I guess its not only a social commentary on consumerism and possibly being pretentious, but your video is also really hilarious – art and humour? What do you say to that?
I identify as a visual artist slash comedian. All of my work, including the sculpture and painting aspects, incorporate elements of humour. There has been funny art for decades. Like Claes Oldenburg, Marcel Duchamp is hilarious, The General Idea, the list goes on. There is humour in plays, humour in poetry- humour and satire have long been imperative vessels for social critique.
As a twenty-something girl, and artist, living in NYC, are you comfortable about where you are and where you are going? Because there are so many choices today for our generation, and in the end its difficult to know anything..
I’m comfortable and excited and lucky and terrified all at once at my current position. I feel so fortunate to be able to create the work I want to. I’m also confident that women or twenty something year old girls can lead the way and make huge changes in what is acceptable or unacceptable in the art world. But at the same time it’s also petrifying: we are at a moment of great change and it’s hard to predict where we will go.
How do you perceive yourself within all of this?
Chilling. Just kidding, I never ever chill.