I’m Just Happy to Be Here

Molly Soda
Friday, June 2-Friday, June 30, 2017

Artsy

National Portrait Gallery Interview

Eye to I: Self-Portraits from 1900 to Today

For the past eight years, Molly Soda’s existence on the Internet has challenged the way we think about identity and ownership in an age where young people have more control over both than ever before. In her most recent exhibition, I’m Just Happy to Be Here, on display from June 2nd to June 30th, Soda brings many of the themes she’s played with in the past a step further, encouraging her patrons to interact with her work in a physical space.

Since beginning to document her life through various digital platforms, Molly Soda has willingly sacrificed her privacy and shame in an effort to display life on the internet. Her pendulum swings from sincere to performative, but never goes outside the realm of honesty. Like many of her projects, the bulk of the work shown in this exhibition forces individuals to confront their online behavior, and pay attention to every- thing about the internet that they so often ignore.

Among the many pieces are videos, GIFs, mirrors containing Instagram DMs, and a performance piece involving the gallery attendees and a computer desktop. Each piece reflects the ongoing relationship between a person online and the people watching them. Much of the work relies on intimate interaction between the audience and devices in front of them. The collection of mirrors bring into question our understanding privacy and emotional projection on the web.

With I’m Just Happy to Be Here Soda brings to light the human patterns the Internet brings out in every- one who uses it. It’s difficult to take away what Soda is doing from a singular piece of her work. But as a whole, Soda’s art creates an elaborately constructed autopsy of the internet she loves so dearly.

Molly Soda (b. 1989, San Juan, Puerto Rico) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She received her BFA from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University in 2011. Her recent solo shows include Thanks For The Add! at Leiminspace, Los Angeles, CA, 2017; Comfort Zone, London, UK, 2016. Her recent group shows include Waffle Falling Over at Kunstverein Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg, Germany, 2017; Friends Only at Vriend Van Bavink, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2016; Your Digital Self Hates You at Stadt Bern, Bern, Switzerland, 2016; Doubly So at Center Galleries, Detroit, MI, 2016; Optimized Textures at Kestner Gesellschaft, Han- nover, Germany, 2015.

Molly Soda 50 Percent Whatever, 2017 GIF 1920 x 1080

Molly Soda
50 Percent Whatever, 2017
GIF 1920 x 1080

Molly Soda Bored, WYD?, 2017 UV print on mirrored acrylic

Molly Soda
Bored, WYD?, 2017
UV print on mirrored acrylic

Molly Soda Touch to Play (still), 2017 Video Run time: 3 minutes 12 seconds

Molly Soda
Touch to Play (still), 2017
Video
Run time: 3 minutes 12 seconds

Molly Soda They Shoot Cowboys Don't They?, 2017 GIF 1920 x 1080

Molly Soda
They Shoot Cowboys Don't They?, 2017
GIF 1920 x 1080

Molly Soda Just Be Yourself, 2017 Lenovo laptop with digital media files

Molly Soda
Just Be Yourself, 2017
Lenovo laptop with digital media files