‘Reality Artist’ Signe Pierce uses her body, the camera and her surroundings to produce films, performances and photographs 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, ‘Instagram’ 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 in 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. 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, Athens, Greece (2018); Düsseldorf Photo, Düsseldorf, Germany (2018); Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2015); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, US (2014); and the New Museum, New York, US (2014).
Signe Pierce has been interviewed by Alice Bucknell in MOUSSE Magazine, where the writer and artist discuss Pierce’s self-definition as a ‘reality artist’ in an increasingly digital and virtual field, on the occasion of her new show at ANNKA KULTYS GALLERY. The resulting conversation covers a wide array of topics, including new dimensions of technology, the Dutch still life tradition, and Big Tech’s use of our data. Pierce notes: “Reality was already difficult enough to conceptualize before we introduced technology, which I consider to be a new dimension. In this exhibition, I’m also interested in building up an archive of digital streams that quantify my reality, as a sort of purging process where I need to export myself before reaching the next stage of my practice.”→
Lara Monro of Teeth Magazine has interviewed Signe Pierce about technocracy, ‘cyberfeminism’ and her new solo show Metamirrorism, on view at ANNKA KULTYS GALLERY. Pierce gives an in-depth introduction to Metamirrorism‘s exploration of chaos and using reality as a tool in her art. Says the artist of the show, “I am exploring reality as a medium, flipping it inside out.[…] For me, reality is a muse, a medium, and conceptual anchor.” →
Lindsay Howard, curator and Head of Community at Foundation, has interviewed Signe Pierce, represented by Annka Kultys Gallery since 2017, to coincide with the groundbreaking launch of the Foundation platform, for which Pierce has created its first-ever NFT. Pierce and her interviewer, Lindsay Howard discuss the fundamental paradox of reality: everyone perceives it individually, and yet these unique encounters form a collective experience. Says Pierce of her entry into the crypto sphere: “It makes sense to be getting into crypto and getting into new avenues for art valuation because these are things that are really core to my idea of what it means to be an artist. It’s about uplifting and upholding value for art, as well as creating new spaces within our era, which are reflective of what’s happening right now. →
PAST EXHIBITIONS AT ANNKA KULTYS GALLERY
6 JUNE – 6 JULY 2019
28 MARCH – 28 APRIL 2018
6 JULY – 29 JULY 2017
Ivana Basic, Gabriele Beveridge, Martin Creed, Dustin Ericksen, Olga Mikh Fedorova, Damian Griffiths, KAYA (Kerstin Brätsch and Debo Eilers), Romain Mader, Jimmy Merris, Jean-Luc Moulène, Signe Pierce (with Alli Coates), Carl Slater, Molly Soda, and Richard Wentworth
8 JUNE – 1 JULY 2017
30 JUNE – 30 JULY 2016