04/03/21

Interview: Stel Tentoon #1: Aurélie Bayad


Stel Tentoon expo #1 - Aurelie Bayad (resident Broeiplaats)


Starting March 5th, Stel Tentoon will show work by Aurélie Bayad. She poses the question ‘What do we do when we’re not online’ and explores why we experience FOMO, even though it’s like the world has stopped. How does she experience these feelings and what does she do when she’s not online?


What’s the expo about?


Last year and this summer I worked a lot on a project called “what do you do when you’re not online?”. It’s a project which is about being stuck online and not being able to get out of this endless scrolling, scrolling, scrolling. And it’s mostly because you feel something is gonna happen but hasn’t happened yet. Because sometimes something happens and you wanna get back to that particular feeling of dopamine hitting your nervous system. And now you have fomo because you weren’t there at that moment when something happened.

How I experience Fear Of Missing Out myself? I’m someone who has a few friends and we see each other every few weeks, which is fine for me. But then I made a friend who is seeing their friend quite a lot and that made me question the ways I’ve been hanging out with my friends a bit. I did experience a bit of fomo. I didn’t necessarily want to be there all the time but I did reconsider some ways I’ve been spending my time.


Where did you get your inspiration from?


From everyday life, all the aspect of it and things that are a bit disgusting, such as slime. For me those things are beautiful so I try to translate that into my pictures. At the moment doing my thesis and my teacher is sometimes sending me documents to further my research. It’s about the different layers of the self. I do a lot of performance in my pictures and video’s, so it’s intertwined in some ways, I think it’s important to question your performance and the self. Lastly, I’m also quite inspired by YouTube binging and glitter (laughs).


How do you want people to experience your expo?


I want people to be able to recognize themselves because I feel that being stuck online is a universal feeling. I think this generation is getting more and more addicted to the phone and I wanna talk about not necessarily ‘the dangers’ because it has brought a lot. I’m not saying internet is good or bad or whatever, but I just wanna explore this question of how can you connect with people in real life, now that everyone is online all the time.

I myself have a lot of friends who are not Belgian, because I grew up in France and travelled a bit, so internet has helped to bring us all together. Now with corona as well, I can Skype with friends, it’s quite nice. But on the other hand, I also feel that this addiction to the phone is bringing me further from being here and now.

‘What do you do when you’re not online’ is about this feeling of really not being able to leave and putting a distance between you and the internet. That’s the video I’m showing. There will also be photographs, and they are about trying to figure out what to actually do when you’re not online. It’s about trying to look around and trying to make sense of the things you can actually do. At that moment, there was corona so… not that much (laughs). A lot of the images show me driving cars with friends around Belgium, a bit nostalgic, trying to figure out life.


Do you have have any tips for young artists?


Just do it and go have fun. Believe in the things you are doing.


Interview door Annelies Rom.

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