Who said romance was dead? 3 AM Classics

Using traditional crafts to comment on digital phenomena is always going to get everyone’s attention. Combining the two in a meaningful and pertinent way is much harder though. Éva Ostrowska achieved the tricky balance with a series of tapestries that hold a facetious and slightly cruel mirror to our new dating habits. Her woolly compositions lay bare our insecurities, little infamies and anxieties.

Éva Ostrowska, Who said romance was dead ? 3 AM Classics, 2020

Who said romance was dead? 3 AM Classics explores the emergent dating code in which dick pics are the new (and perhaps slightly desperate) way to express sexual interest in someone.

Éva Ostrowska, I have been sending him a picture of the loading sign instead and he still hasn’t realized, 2021.

I suspect that most of the dating apps users who’ve seen I have been sending him a picture of the loading sign instead and he still hasn’t realized might have been tempted to replicate the prank one night. The tapestry comments on how much our perception of time has been affected by the Internet’s capacity to provide us with instant gratification.

Éva Ostrowska, I am not the only one wondering…, 2019.

I am not the only one wondering… explores how the web has become the 21st Century mouthpiece of the oracles of the god Apollo. “Sometimes the black screen provides us with a good omen, but at other times, as it was for the ancient Greeks, it can confuse us with its magical vapors.”

I discovered Éva Ostrowska‘s work while visiting SWIPE RIGHT! Data, Dating, Desire, a show that attempts to explore the many influences that digital technologies exert on contemporary romance. 

The exhibition includes works such as Dries Depoorter‘s Tinderin series that highlights the contrast between our dating persona and our professional one; Joana Moll‘s project that exposes the covert and dirty commercialisation of our dating data; a couple of Dani Ploeger‘s installations that confirm that he’s a master at witty and slightly disturbing works; !Mediengruppe Bitnik‘s visually arresting installation that uses the data from the Ashley Madison hack to give temporary physical embodiment to 5 of the 436 fembots that the dating site created in order to address the jarring unbalance between the few women subscribers and the many male subscribers to their services; and MANY MORE.

SWIPE RIGHT! Data, Dating, Desire was curated by Valentina Peri. The exhibition remains open until 9 January 2022 at iMAL in Brussels.