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Beach Body Ready

23.02 - 17.03.22

Kourtney Roy Untitled #10, from the series 'In dreams you're mine', 2019

Kourtney Roy

B. 1981

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Canadian artist Kourtney Roy is known for her vibrant, cinematic images. Roy’s photographs re-stage everyday scenes in an exaggerated, off-kilter way. Her photographs appear somewhat uncanny, presenting simultaneously banal and fantastical scenes.

Her recent series, The Tourist, works from which are presented here, features her trademark cinematic style, uncanny scenes which are simultaneously comic and sinister. The artist stages herself as various characters, presenting a hyper real fiction which evokes the controversial ‘beach body ready’ campaign which circulated during 2015. The series depicts the excesses of consumer culture; highly saturated images present coiffured sunbathers and buff men slathered in Hawaiian Tropic, each treading the line between glamorous and garish. The cinematic staging of the images becomes blurred with recognised stagings of wealth and beauty which we are so familiar with on social media, rendering it unclear where the fiction starts and ends.

Photographed in Cancun, Mexico, known for its picture-perfect beaches and resorts, the artist reflects the over sexualised and often harmful culture of traditions such as spring-break, for which it is a famous holiday destination. Echoing David Hockney’s famous swimming pools scenes, which appear blissful yet often eerily deserted, Roy’s photographs depict a world of leisure in which a sinister undertone lurks beneath the surface.

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