Ekphrasis - The God of Kek (2020) HD video, 05:45 min. Edition: 5+1,
courtesy of the artist
The videos of the series entitled Ekphrasis engage with the phenomenon of internet memes, often humorous images which are produced, copied, interfered with and spread by users of social media platforms.While these memes emerged with the beginning of the world wide web, their social and political function as tools for propaganda has recently increased significantly. Particularly since the US presidential elections of 2016, the use of memes as subliminal element of communication has become evident. In the Ekphrasis series of videos, different people are asked to describe the image content of selected memes in detail and to analyse their affective impact from a subjective perspective. In this sense, these image text constructs, which are often just glimpsed for a moment in the flow of a social network platform, are translated into spoken language, thereby giving the viewers the role of the medium.
"Ekphrasis - The God of Kek" invites an artist to describe the infamous “Pepe the Frog” meme. This particular meme became well known through its viral use by the so-called alt-right movement and people who refer to themselves as “meme-magicians” in the US election campaign of 2016. The history of this image is a complex process of appropriation and re-valuation, from a harmless cartoon character to an international symbol of hate.
Concept / Camera / Sound / Post-Production
with: Jennifer Gelardo
Anke Stockburger, Brishty Alam, Kai Maier-Rothe, Jakob Dietrich, Memphis artspace