February 10th, 2020


The photographer Kathrin Hoyos is showing her latest series #me at Suppan Fine Arts in Vienna, Austria


Hardly any other being could embody the worldwide Selfie – Mania as a testimonial more fittingly than Barbie, who is at home all over the world. Since she is not made of flesh and blood, but of plastic, varnish and glitter, Barbie could not have turned sixty not so long ago and could not look a bit older than when she was born with a wasp waist, persistent smile and a mostly blond mane.

The conceptual photographer Kathrin Hoyos makes Barbie the protagonist of her photo series #me, in which she illustrates this connection between younger lifestyle standards, consumer culture, and the media conditions of paradoxical social media individuality. As lively as she may seem to us after decades of presence, Barbie remains a doll with a preformed smile, made of plastic and with stiff limbs, who knows exactly: whoever wants to attract envious glances today can no longer score points with a convertible, brand accessories and long legs in a miniskirt alone. As a real jet-set girl, Barbie today collects – whether in Cape Town, Monte Carlo, Paris, Venice or Vienna, with her outstretched arm in selfie pose, likes and followers. The instantiated top-sights of the globe, the experiences and events of our exciting lives, are the lifestyle currency of the present.

By using Barbie as a means of representation, the artist, who lives in South Africa and Monaco, succeeds in creating a thoroughly unpleasant reminiscence of the mechanical readiness with which we submit to the principles of self-dramatization and a reminder of the corruptibility of our senses through the depiction of seemingly unique dream beaches, landmarks, mountain views and encounters for which we actually shamelessly have to queue up en masse.

(c) Kathrin Hoyos. Courtesy Suppan Fine Arts, Vienna. All rights reserved, 2020