‘Reality Artist’, Signe Pierce uses her body, the camera and her surroundings to produce films, performances and photographs, and with a singularly flashy, neon, Instagram aesthetic. Through her work, she posits questions regarding gender, identity, sexuality and reality within an increasingly digital world.
Signe Pierce’s practice encompasses performance, video, photography, writing and digital installations. She aligns and identifies with the notion of being a ‘Reality Artist’, a term Pierce acknowledges is at once enigmatic and paradoxical by nature, melding two highly subjective and contested concepts (reality and art). Pierce uses her body, the camera and her surroundings to produce films, performances, photographs and web-based works with a singularly flashy, neon, urban aesthetic. Through her work, she posits questions regarding gender, identity, sexuality and reality within an increasingly digital world.
The artist starred in and was the co-creator of the highly acclaimed short film, “American Reflexxx” (dir. Alli Coates, 2015). Her performance in Reflexxx was shown earlier this year at MoMA, New York and upon its release on YouTube reached over two million views within its first week. The 14-minute film features real, unscripted footage of Pierce walking down a frenetic Myrtle Beach boardwalk whilst wearing a mirrored mask and electric blue mini-dress. Her presence was met with a malevolent curiosity from the surrounding public, who quickly turned violent in an attempt to unmask and gender-identify her. The shocking displays of dehumanisation and mob mentality, along with the Pierce’s tenacious performance, garnered immediate critical acclaim for the film, as well as instant viral attention online.
And while Reflexxx served as an introduction to Pierce’s conceptual oeuvre, her hyper-saturated photographs of Los Angeles palms and neon strip malls have also developed a following of their own.
Signe Pierce was born in Arizona in 1988 and currently lives and works in New York. She received her BFA from the School of Visual Arts in 2011. Pierce debuted at Annka Kultys Gallery in 2017 with Faux Realities, an exhibition of 30 photos that questioned the nature of truth and artifice within the digital image, and showed again at the gallery in 2018 with Metamirrorism, an exhibition the artist also presented that year at the Athens Biennial.
Pierce’s video works and performances have been shown at MoMA, New York, US (2019); Annka Kultys Gallery, London, UK (2019); Eigen+Art Lab, Berlin, Germany (2019); MdbK, Leipzig, Germany (2018); Annka Kultys Gallery, London, UK (2018), Athens Biennial, Greece (2018); Düsseldorf Photo, Germany (2018); the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, France (2015); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, US (2014); and the New Museum, New York, US (2014).