Melbourne artist Bridgette McNab launches her fourth solo exhibition, Love Island at Saint Cloche. In this latest series, Bridgette delves into the global phenomenon that is Reality TV. With a practice that has continued to explore the realms of artifice and illusion, it comes as no surprise that she is drawn to this fantasy world. Heavily regarded as ‘bad’ TV, the genre is often understood as lacking seriousness. It pervades discussions that are in fact very serious modern-day anxieties such as surveillance, performance and concerns about the idea of what is real.
Despite the shows trivial, pop culture character, Bridgette likens it to an episode of Black Mirror or a dystopian Sci Fi movie – highly aware of its function as a form of surveillance. Despite frivolous first impressions, it is just one example of a growing anxiety about the pervasiveness and normalisation of surveillance modus operandi in everyday life. With the rise of social media platforms such as Instagram, snap chat and Tik Tok we have become deeply accustomed to the idea of operating ‘performance’ lives. From celebrities, our families, to friends and strangers online, we hunger for the variety and flavour of the ‘real’ within our entertainment.
Critique and speculation on the authenticity of what you view in the work is perhaps one of the largest drawcards to the exhibition. Despite the program’s deceptive artificiality, Bridgette has managed to excavate very ‘real’ and intimate moments of introspection, despair, apathy and trepidation in a high gloss finish. By taking advantage of its slowness as a medium, painting can constitute a means of thinking about and reading these images – a paramount activity in modern life.
PDF Catalogue (1.6mb): Click here to view
Exhibition Video Walkthrough: Watch on IGTV
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