Niche Content for Frustrated Queers
Marijke de Roover
2019-2020 – C-prints mounted on Dibond with aluminium subframe
Marijke de Roover’s work explores the performativity of identity and focuses on feminism, queerness, sexuality and desire, aided and abetted by an iconography and language culled from the culture of the Internet and entertainment industry. Her practice undermines institutionalised and heteronormative notions about love and self-representation. Niche Content for Frustrated Queers is a series of memes created by the artist and produced as C-prints. Far from being trivial, memes – which the artist suggests should be critically interpreted as texts – have been used to develop a language that reproduces a certain culture of a given moment. At the same time, the simplified nature of memes often relies on normative power structures, ultimately spreading stereotypical representations.
Looking at issues of gender in anonymous online spaces, where memes mostly circulate, they can largely be hostile and unwelcoming to anyone who does not identify as white and male, thus affirming heteronormativity as the prevailing sexual orientation. By contrast, Marijke de Roover’s niche memes instead propose a wide variety of coupling practices, outside given norms. The series reflects the Millennial generation’s sense of pessimism and self-mockery, showing how institutionalised heterosexuality structures gender and offers an insight into the reality of dating and relationships in the digital age, regardless of gender and sexual preferences.
Marijke De Roover― Artist
Marijke De Roover (Brussels, BE) is a part-time professional karaoke singer and meme connoisseur, yet currently known mostly for her queer/feminist performance work. She holds a Masters in Fine Arts from KASK School of Arts, Ghent (BE) where she was nominated for the Start Point Prize, Prague (CZ). In her artworks, she deals with questions regarding the nuclear family, feminism/motherhood, ethics of reproduction, and love, romance and compulsory heteronormativity under late capitalism. In 2020 she had her first institutional solo at Museum de Pont in Tilburg (NE). Her work has been shown at among others: Museum fur Neue Kunst, Freiburg (DE), David Roberts Art Foundation (Evening of Performance), London (UK), Garage Rotterdam (NL), Brakke Grond, Amsterdam (NL), Garage, Moscow (RU), BOZAR, Brussels (BE), ARCADE, London (UK), MABA, Nogent-sur-Marne (FR), Goethe Institute, Dusseldorf (DE), Museum Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt am Main (DE).