Money. Pussy. Future.

Money. Pussy. Future. is an installation made up of many parts, some of which could serve as artworks in their own right if separated from the composition; but together they still work to make a generally cohesive whole. The first component I created was the painting in acrylic onto a pink yoga mat, which I suspended from the ceiling of the gallery. The painting is a parody meme I designed in the style of those created by Instagram content creators such as Gangster Popeye, Djinn Kazama, Wurfelhouse, and Gay Vape Shark. Text at the top of the piece reads ‘Don’t hate me cos you ain’t me!’, and continues at the bottom of the painting ‘I too have crippling anxiety and a range of deep-seated insecurities.’ The use of a cartoon character (in this case my previously-seen pink rabbit) as well as text of varying colours, fonts and sizes mimic the lowbrow, DIY aesthetic of many memes, while the darkly humorous words are in keeping with a confessional, self-deprecating brand of humour found on many corners of the internet. The fact I painted the meme as opposed to simply creating it in Photoshop lends it a personal element, as it takes me more time to hand paint something than to do a simple Photoshop collage- and in addition we can see ‘the hand of the artist’. In hindsight the installation perhaps didn’t need the painting, which could be viewed as very separate to the rest of the installation and was perhaps a ‘safe’ choice of mine. I should also interrogate the function of the pink bunny character and pin down the meaning she brings to the work.

Behind the painting hangs a fluorescent green length of fabric, which drapes down over the installation and onto the floor. I chose this colour as it is has ‘digital’ connotations as well as being the colour of the moment, seen everywhere from clothes in shops to celebrities’ wigs. The draping fabric gives the impression of digital material spilling forth and of providing a backdrop for the other objects. A wire storage unit with gridlike lines contains three clay mini-sculptures of a menstrual cup, an iPhone and a Monzo bank card. I chose these items as they are used extensively by millennials, and I made them from clay to provide weight, visible authorship and ‘authenticity’ to things which could read as ‘trendy’, new, fleeting or digital. The banking system used by Monzo bank automatically breaks down the account holder’s monthly budget, and here references the financial situation many young people are facing; the smartphone is the ultimate symbol of our time and the menstrual cup refers to the environmentally-aware choices that young people in particular are beginning to make in response to the crises of waste and climate change, as well as a breaking of taboos around the body and menstruation. An aloe vera plant sits atop the storage unit. Giving a feel of domesticity, this breed of plant is synonymous with healing, and potted plants in general have become a must-have investment for young people concerned with mitigating depression, improving the air quality in their home and getting in touch with the natural in the midst of the digital revolution. Viewers found the aloe vera plant disconcerting in the sense that it amongst all of the digital references and garish colours they weren’t sure if it was real or artificial.

A tripod holds a portable power bank, into which a USB desk fan is plugged. When turned on the fan is programmed to display scrolling coloured messages across its blades including “RELAX!!”, “Period late”, “Pisces Scorpio Leo”, “My sex therapist”, “come thru n chill”, “It’s a match! <3”, “He left me on read”, “You’ve been charged”, “Downward dog”, £-107.20 TfL”, “I LOVED U YOU KNOW” and “NHS”. The limited number of messages and characters per message available forced me to be concise, and so these snippets of thoughts, texts sent and received and other daily information acts as a shorthand of an experience.The LED display floats before the viewer, giving the impression of a hologram.

Two gym balls frame the installation: one silver, one upholstered in cow-print fabric. Besides the connotations of health and working out, the balls resemble digital forms.

Overall the piece presents a jarring mix of the digital and the rudimentary, garish colours and natural tones, and slick confidence interwoven with anxious preoccupations.