We proudly present ‘Social Media Solitude’, the third solo exhibition of Line Gulsett with TORCH gallery. Like in her earlier works, the new paintings and drawings in this show cover our modern state of mind, one that is distracted by a constant stream of images and information. While being more connected than ever, people feel more alone than ever. It is commonly accepted that social media plays a large part in this distress. Gulsett takes this lost connection to reality and its causes to create images that force us to contemplate our solitude.
Social Media has become an extension of our thought in a Cartesian sense. According to Descartes, as long as we think we can know that we exist (I think therefor I am). This is called solipsism; the notion that the only thing that exists, is one’s own self and mind. By using social media, our thoughts and experiences (through which we exist) come through an extension. These experiences are merely simulations of reality, since it creates an environment in which only the user exists. The experiences had through the social media are approximations of reality and social interaction is contrived. Social media simulates social interaction, but fails to deliver what immediate social interaction can.
This illusion of integration results in less solidarity. It increases social anxiety, depression and insecurity, so social circumstances inflict mental health issues. Not being part of their community is one of the three kinds of causes for suicide in Emile Durkheim's work Le Suicide (1897). He argues that what he calls egoistic suicide, occurs when people are insufficiently integrated in a society. Using social media to experience life is disconnecting people from their community and feels similar to the cause Durkheim was writing about.
Line Gulsett (1981, Norway) lives and works in The Hague, The Netherlands. She graduated from the Royal Academy of the Arts in The Hague in 2011 and has exhibited worldwide ever since. In 2015, she completed a residency with the Leipzig international artist program and in 2018, East side International residency in Los Angeles. In 2018, she took part in the exhibition Lebenszeichen in der Kunst in Weserburg Museum für moderne kunst, Bremen She is a member of the Norwegian Artists Association and her work is represented by TORCH gallery in Amsterdam and Camara Oscura in Madrid.