Galerie Fons Welters - Amsterdam

Loved an Image

There are moments in life in which you notice your own dullness and ignorance. As I really like late and extensive breakfast, maybe only a year ago I told some friends that one should invent a mix of breakfast and lunch, which then should be called: brun…. Ouch, here it is! Painful epiphany.

I used to have an old phone that ran out of storage making it impossible to install the most recent software updates. Therefore I saw some emojis as question marks in squares, couldn’t play slow-mo videos properly or received messages from friends as answers to images I sent: ‚Loved an image‘.
In the beginning I was rather confused as different people seemed to send me this message – independently of one another, obviously.
Juliette started to really like that phrase and quickly followed up with ‚Laughed at an image‘ or ‚Emphasized an image‘ – I liked it too and started using it. I don’t exactly know how I figured, but at some point this year I realized that it was my not-up-to-date phone that wrote ‚Loved an image‘,. The person who sent it to me actually just hovered over the image and – with a choice of expressions – chose ‚Loved an image‘, which would create a little heart above the photo instead of spelling it out. Here it is again: painful epiphany!

It isn’t really pleasant to realize your own ignorance, yet it can be very funny and entertaining for all parties. Like smashing your coccyx: it hurts, it really hurts, but you can’t help but laugh. It’s like slight memories from last night coming back, you don’t really want to have them back, or you are scared because you think you don’t really want them back, you begin to feel the embarrassment that crawls slowly through your body and back into your brain.
‚Loved an image‘ however became a truism that Juliette would then keep writing, it became a way to bypass the classic like/dislike gesture and to actually focus on the image.

These images started to become black screens with white phrases. They could be seen as subtitles. But then: where was the image? The image doesn’t really matter as the note creates an image – mostly of those memories you tend to forget. The image becomes a text, respectively was a text, is a text. Fragments from conversations, messages, mails, quotes from songs, books, films, her own films. Taken out of their context, used as clichés: ‚Hope I didn’t say the wrong thing‘, ‚I’m really sorry about yesterday‘, ‚It was wild‘…
Phrases that individually create images for each person – a black screen as substitute for actual green screens in which the movie industry transfers whatever they want. Juliette’s black notes function in the exact same way. Does it even make sense to discuss one’s image with another? Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. Either way those works create a very intimate moment in which each and everyone is alone, in a sincere moment of personal thoughts.

‚They should grow on you’

Where is it from? Is it a quote? What is she referring to?

Juxtaposing cacti drawings and watercolors might give an answer to this note, but then again what’s the context between a spring fountain in the shape of a fish with the water coming out of the mouth and ‚you feeling ok after the weekend?‘.

I just bought a new phone with ultra hd camera and all kinds of possibilities that most of my friends can’t receive.

‚You win’…

[Felix Gaudlitz]

About the artist:
Loved an Image is Juliette Blightman’s first solo show in the Netherlands. Blightman is a British artist living and working in Berlin. The main theme of her work is the relationship between art and life, she creates her works like ongoing journal entries articulated in different media, a life examined, radical subjectivity and the personal made public. Juliette Blightman photographs, paints, films, writes, and performs the slow practice of everyday life with all its dance parties. She earned a Bachelor in Fine Arts degree at the Byam Shaw School of Art in London in 2003 and a Master in Fine Arts at University of the Arts, London/Central St. Martins in 2007.

Her most recent solo exhibitions include; Extimacy at the Kunsthalle Bern (2016), Portraits and Repetition at the South London Gallery (2015-16), Juliette Blightman / Ellie Epp at the Badischer Kunstverein in Karlsruhe (2015), Come inside, Bitte at Eden Eden in Berlin (2015), Eden Eden Eden at Karma International in Los Angeles (2015), Gerry Bibby / Juliette Blightman at the Kunsthaus Bregenz (2014), I hope one day soon you’ll come and visit me here at Isabella Bortolozzi Galerie in Berlin (2011). Her works and performances have also been shown in the following exhibition spaces: Cubitt, London, Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo, Artists Space, New York, Centre Parc Saint Léger, Pougues-Les-Eaux, Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden-Baden, Tramway, Glasgow, Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, amongst others.

Blightman’s work has appeared in international publications such as ArtForum, Frieze, Texte Zur Kunst and Starship. She has given a series of performance lectures at the following Universities: Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, UDK Berlin, University Mozarteum Salzburg, Royal College of Art, London, NYU Berlin and Weissensee Kunsthochschule Berlin.