For her first exhibition at the Backslash gallery, French visual artist France Bizot presents a recent series of drawings on the theme of social networks, Facebook in particular, and the status of the image. The myriad formats provoke an encounter between the viewer and today’s 2.0 society, a form of society that has become embedded in our collective subconscious and that can produce both intense creativity and a certain degree of alienation.
Facebook currently boasts over 900 million users and has just seen its shares floated on the stock market. Four billion objects are exchanged every day. Figures such as these make this particular social network an extremely influential form of communication, universally known and recognized thanks to a set of well-defined signals and codes.
France Bizot is fascinated by the relationships that members create when using the network. Her work questions the worth of these “friendships” and the consequences that they have on us all, despite their supposed virtuality. She explains that “my work as an artist was to take this virtual journey to a new destination. To extract from within the context of the screen nothing more than what you find on-screen, re-appropriating the signals and visual codes. Investing every link with its true emotional charge. Acting as a reminder that although the journey may be virtual, the emotions are real.”
The artist is also intrigued by the idea of virtual time, which often reflects the sense of urgency that dominates modern society. Drawing time is inversely proportional to virtual time, and France Bizot’s works create an unsettling link between these two polar opposites.
The drawings on display all come originally from the artist’s own Facebook page and each one records a story or encounter, a friendship forged or renewed.
France Bizot graduated from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs of Paris. After a successful career as an artistic director in the advertising industry, in 2002 she took the decision to concentrate on her work as an artist. Strongly influenced by social networks, particularly thanks to her previous career, she began her work on Facebook in March 2011.