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Interview: Stel Tentoon #1: Aurélie Bayad

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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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