In a world where people seek to express themselves through their online profiles, personas and avatars, how authentic is this new digital reality? If You Can Learn To Fake Authenticity You’ve Got It Made is a shopfront performance that explores what life is like behind our screens.
“We’re in a very strange time in history where there’s just so much fabrication,” says the show’s writer, Rebecca Meston. “From Instagram and self-publicity through to high level politics, people put out a story and there’s less critical questioning of what they’re putting out to the world.”
Written and devised by Meston, in collaboration with Meg Wilson, Hew Parham and Natalia Sledz, the show invites audiences to stay for three minutes or for the whole three hours as characters’ fabricated lives break down in an attempt to explore our innate, animal desire to connect.
“I’m very interested in who we’ve crafted online and who is released to the online world and acts as ourselves when we’re asleep and not online,” Meston says. “The concept of authenticity, it’s like it’s become something people are trying to do as opposed to just genuinely be.”
The silent theatre piece is performed in 30 minute loop segments and sees a descent where characters become more “grotesque or warped” as time goes by.
“You can pick up the thread like a new episode of the larger story,” says Meston. “This really is a work for people that maybe don’t normally see theatre or go into an art gallery. I’m interested in creating work that goes to audiences as opposed to audiences going to it. It’s not aimed to be an intimidating experience, it’s aimed to be a new way to get audiences to look at art and perceive art.”
Performed at FELTspace Gallery, the free performance seeks to capture the attention of Friday night foot traffic in the Gouger Street and Central Market zone to explore social media-driven delusion and how it has affected us as a society. It poses the question of whether one can handle the reality of what truly lies behind the screen and social media posts.
“We’re not in a place where we reveal our true letting-it-all-hang-out-stained-tracksuit-pant self anymore,” Meston says, reflecting on the nature of ‘authenticity’ in the present day. “But most people do live a version of themselves that’s very private where they’re in stained tracksuit pants, it’s not the face they capture in their selfies for Instagram but it is a really authentic version of being… It’s a really interesting collision of worlds for me.”
If You Can Learn To Fake Authenticity You’ve Got It Made
FELTspace Gallery , 12 Compton St, Adelaide
Friday, May 25 and Friday, June 1, 7 – 10pm