Neil Beloufa

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Neil Beloufa

Work from his oeuvre.

“…People’s passion, lifestyle, beautiful wine, gigantic glass towers, all surrounded by water (2011),” a pitiless condemnation of Vancouver disguised as a promotional video for the city. With a Riot Girl lilt that compulsively scoops up in uncertainty, the first subject on screen begins, “People are beautiful here … they have a really good work/life balance.” The interviewees’ meandering zeal for their utopian home paints the ideal of outdoorsy, cosmopolitan “quality of life” as a nebulous and narcissistic purgatory, and the film ends in a horrific display of fireworks over a glittering cityscape.

The works surrounding this video (one of which served as a screen) mixes pure forms with appropriated images celebrities and places. In “Definition, Cloud (2011),” for example, Angelina Jolie’s face is pasted below a crudely cut out rectangle with one undulating side. Beloufa is interested in Jolie (a k a Lara Croft) as “the beauty for new technology” — an actress who represents perfection in the digital age. Another work pairs a swerving abstract shape partially spray-painted red with a photo of Beyoncé in a red dress, her edited midsection also swerving like a vertical sine curve. “That’s supposed to be a heart, and that is a pixelated Taj Mahal, and that,” Beloufa says, pointing to an image of a group of women in a rainbow of dresses digitally streaked in a rainbowlike horseshoe shape, “is another bad joke, but it’s private.” Like his videos, Beloufa’s tangible artworks exploit a desire for an authority who knows and cares what’s going on and has organized everything in a way that explains it. But Beloufa, of course, withholds such comfort. Asked if the architectural forms that serve as the projection’s three-dimensional screen recall a particular building, he answered, “No, nothing is particular.”” – New York Times

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