Conceptualising contemporary female experiences motivates Zoë Barnes' artistic practice of mediating the exploration of dating rituals, social expectations and sexual judgement. The representation of her views and personal encounters in her work often take a tongue in cheek approach to raise a reaction in the viewer, asking them to question their own thoughts and experiences of how women’s bodies should look, act and be received.
Zoë Barnes, Je te forcerai à mâcher mon bite une fois tu en as supplie, canvas, acrylic, charcoal, pages of erotic novels, ink
Zoë Barnes, Je te veux par derrière, canvas, acrylic, charcoal, pages of erotic novels
The portraits mediate the intimate encounters so frequently requested by unknown men, replicating the ‘nudes’ the artist is frequently asked to send online. The face is absent and mouth covered, depicting their lack of desire to know her. The body has been created by using the ripped-up pages of erotic novels, a manifestation of the meeting of shared desires. Like a slab of meat on a butcher’s block, she is ready to be consumed.
Zoë Barnes, Collected evidence, miscellaneous items in plastic freezer bags
This work is an archive of sexual encounters, collected evidence mourning the loss of romance, an emotion suggested, but never realized. ‘Tokens’ stolen as a receipt of interactions that happen so fast, and collected as proof of them taking place, when the acts themselves are such throw away experiences, demonstrating the reality of contemporary dating methods.