Spotlight: Artists Explore the Nefarious Effects of Social Media in a New London Group Exhibition

Featuring over 20 artists, 'felt cute, might delete later' is on view at Arusha Gallery through October 28.

Theresa Weber, Cosmic Blue (2023). Courtesy of Arusha Gallery.

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What You Need to Know: On view through October 28, 2023, Arusha Gallery is presenting its second exhibition at its new London location at 6 Percy Street, “felt cute, might delete later.” Jointly curated by James Owens—who also has work featured in the show—and Arusha Gallery, the group exhibition brings together a dynamic range of works across mediums by 21 artists, including Gommaar Gilliams, Laurie Cole, Theresa Webber, Imogen Allen, and Maddalena Zadra. Cheekily employing a common refrain used in the spheres of social media as the title and conceptual starting point for the show, “felt cute, might delete later” explores the social and psychological zeitgeist of today—and how it manifests in our perception of reality both past, present, and future.

Why We Like It: Social media is a pervasive part of contemporary life, and the myriad ways we as individuals interact and engage with any number of the various platforms has wide ranging effects—from emotional elation to depression, discovery or distortion (or even loss) of personal identity, to how we imagine what the future might hold.

At the core of “felt cute, might delete later,” ideas around erasure, such as the erasure of a moment shared on socials and then deleted later, or in terms of the never-ending cycle of trends replacing each other, are brought to the fore. Together, the artists represented in the show interrogate permanence and authenticity through the act of artistic creation, allowing viewers to reflect on the ever-moving and ever-evolving influence of an increasingly online world.

According to the Gallery: “‘felt cute, might delete later’ refers to a common internet meme that uses the phrase to caption or hashtag an image upload of someone where the person feels attractive in the moment but may soon be embarrassed and would then delete the post at a later time.

As we primarily reflect our own lives onto social media we have infinite defined acts of erasure, seemingly closer to the word deletion. With nothing permanent, it’s becoming harder to trace the past. Light replaces more light on a glowing white screen, satisfaction is met and then soon forgotten once the blinking cursor backs up and removes each word. Archiving an Instagram post and placing it in limbo in case you feel indifferent about it in a few weeks.

The group show explores the notions of the erasure through traces of the past as means to work on and accomplish new visualizations. As one thought is written down, it’s quickly erased and replaced with the new. The traces of each false beginning still remain; placing time in a few gestures of movement. Through making, artists navigate through such beginnings as layers of paint, loose pencil sketches and beaten clay.”—James Owens

See inside the exhibition and featured works below.

Installation view of “felt cute, might delete later” (2023). Photo: Sophie Carson. Courtesy of Arusha Gallery.

Installation view of “felt cute, might delete later” (2023). Photo: Sophie Carson. Courtesy of Arusha Gallery.

Installation view of “felt cute, might delete later” (2023). Photo: Sophie Carson. Courtesy of Arusha Gallery.

Gommaar Gilliams, Alia (2023). Courtesy of Arusha Gallery.

Laurie Cole, Taking Shape (2023). Courtesy of Arusha Gallery.

felt cute, might delete later” is on view at Arusha Gallery, London, through October 28.

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