On view November 18, 2017 - January 20, 2018
1822 State Street, Granite City, Illinois 62040
An essay in progress by Brandon Bandy
The explore feed on Instagram in the wild west, vast, wondrous, but I feel as though I’ve seen it before. Within this landscape is the Instagram Girl, a mystical figure who’s photographs and interactions are so carefully considered I begin to wonder about their existence in the natural world. This is the outcome of the democratization of image making, we can create our own image, a being separate from our own. This has lead the way for a sort of “no stakes” cultural appropriation where all are free to pick and choose elements from various subcultures to enhance their own personality. The Thrasher t-shirt is the ideal representation of this phenomenon, previously reserved for those who skate it has become an autonomous symbol of “cool”.
“to date, the Archies are the only fictional band to ever top Billboard's year-end pop chart, as "Sugar, Sugar" was the top-selling song in America in 1969. Perhaps that will change in a future when we consume holographic pop stars in virtual reality, but for now the record belongs to Archie, Jughead, Reggie, Betty and Veronica.”
(10 Sweet Things You Never Knew About the Archies, metv.com)
Bubblegum pop has infiltrated society once again. Starting around 2010, artists such as Sophie, Hannah Diamond, QT, Spinee, Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, and Poppy, began to re-establish the bubblegum pop methodology. In some cases the records produced by these musicians transcend the artists that create them requiring a facade, an equally appealing personality to accompany them. The Archies never could have been human, they required perfection, characters that flawlessly personified their candy coated lyrics.