Victoria Todorov, The Bipolarity of Output (AUX)
⬤ Discordia 14 Aug - 11 Sep 2021
Elizabeth watches over patrons is an oil painting by Victoria Todorov currently on display in her solo exhibition The Bipolarity of Output (AUX) at Discordia. The painting depicts Discordia director, Elizabeth McInnes, dressed in red underwear and a red long-sleeved t-shirt adorned with teddy bears. Painted in a hyperrealist manner, the work is glossy and represents McInnes as hypersexualised—her plump lips draw the viewer’s attention to her face and, specifically, her sultry stare. The backdrop, a decrepit staircase and hallway, makes the image look like something out of a fashion editorial set in an alternate-universe Nicholas Building. In many ways, Todorov’s painting of McInnes is representative of the Instagram hyper-glam influencer framework. This is a structure that the artworld, far from being a vacuum outside of it, is inextricably linked to. Maybe it’s a hangover of modernism that we continue to expect art to offer some aspirational alternatives when, in fact, we might do better to consider it through the lens of aspirational imitation.