Arcade is pleased to present our 1st exhibition in Brussels with Marijke De Roover: a bricolage of opera, musicals, Disney productions, romcoms, karaoke and feminist queer theory.
The video work Live, Laugh, Limerence, (2020) scripted from a performance of the same name commissioned in 2019 by the David Roberts Art Foundation, serves as the basis for this new installation. Using music and irony De Roover undermines conventional notions about love. She focuses on how mainstream culture depicts and articulates romantic relationships in movies and pop songs. Despite the success of an occasional Hollywood film or television series based on a gay or lesbian character, in popular culture the course of love sticks to well-worn heteronormative paths. In De Roover’s universe love does not comply with social and cultural norms, roles and patterns of expectation, but it does manifest itself in many other forms of queerness. Culturally dominant ideas about male/female relationships, motherhood, sexual identity and reproduction are appropriated and highjacked using quotes from opera, musical theatre, pop music and movies.
Through the performance/film I wanted to lay bare the heteronormative/capitalist structure of love that we take for granted and propose a more flexible practice of love. Both as a way to open up people’s belief systems and for me to better understand and live with my feelings.
Accompanying the video work are a series of large-scale memes, from the ongoing series ‘niche content for frustrated queers’ which she attests:
affirm heteronormativity as the prevailing sexual orientation. But in light of Generation Y’s online pessimism and self-mockery, I am inspired by memes like amongst others, ‘distracted boyfriend’, ‘Drake Hotline Bling meme’, ‘there are no girls on the internet’ and ‘fun with Foucault’ to express a way of thinking that shows how institutionalised heterosexuality structures gender, as well as other stratification categories, and closes off any critical analysis of its consequences. The ‘unsuccessful’ (because non-viral, niche) memes deal with ideas of a wide variety of (in this series) coupling practices (e.g., dating, parties, marriage, and heartbreak) that secure the intersection of several consequential social hierarchies including gender, class, sexual orientation and institutional power.