Part of Modern Love

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.

Courtesy of the artist & Arcade, London


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