Molly Soda “You Got This”

Jack Barrett

poster for Molly Soda “You Got This”
[Image: Molly Soda "MY DESKTOP DECOR *RELAXING*" (2019) Video, 10 minutes 36 seconds, 1920 x 1080, Dimensions variable, Ed. of 3 + 1AP]

This event has ended.

Jack Barrett presents You Got This, Molly Soda’s second solo show with the gallery. Staging new works across a range of media, You Got This, examines aspiration and authenticity, as two major social and structural forces shaping our early Internet- era personas. Negotiating the space between commercial objects and the projected self, Soda considers how we make sense of our identities in a shared digital space.

Two vinyl windows complete with window boxes and weeds adorn the walls. These windows offer us a glimpse into private spaces—a bedroom and office—of what might be a beauty or lifestyle Vlogger. Messy and disorganized, these spaces reveal information generally kept outside the camera’s frame, eliciting questions about curation’s relationship to authenticity, and in turn, how authenticity drives aspiration. A rack of DIY scented candles, which visitors are encouraged to pick up and smell, function as a commercial shelf. The candles as a facsimile will always be an approximation of an ideal, the gap between the real and the imagined self.

In an online culture particularly concerned with analytics, Soda is interested in the strategies we employ to manipulate values. The Youtuber who gives tour of their home presents the space in such a way as to control the information accessible to the viewer. A beauty Vlogger might be viewed as inauthentic or unrelatable for having too many corporate sponsorships, or amateur for having too few. Constructing an authentic self, one that provokes the aspirations of others, requires a kind of carefully balanced consumption. In a video piece, which imitates the style of popular lifestyle Vloggers who make “haul” videos, Soda invites the viewer to see how much money she spent on materials for the show and where she purchased them, encouraging the viewer to do the same.

You Got This is an interrogation of an economy of hope, drawing inspiration from the aesthetics of American suburbia, as well as cultures of wellness, self-help, and self-improvement. It prompts the viewer to consider the pervasiveness of the branded self in society, and frames the question of what is at stake when we aspire toward something in both personal and structural terms.



from March 01, 2020 to April 19, 2020

Opening Reception on 2020-03-01 from 18:00 to 20:00


Molly Soda

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