Image credits

Jodie Rice

MA Fine Art

By exploring the similarities between a gallery and a high street shop through the value of display, my practice questions the extent to which the viewer becomes the consumer in these environments. In both scenarios, the viewer visually consumes the unique contents of the exhibition or display. But they can also physically consume what they see through mass-production, such as the post-card print of the artist’s work or reproduced designs. Both the gallery and shop in this perspective could be seen to create a hyper-reality in which the viewer can both simultaneously desire and consume what they see.

In my most recent series of works ‘The Good Life’, I have focused both on the consumer’s continual desire to aspire to the ideal lifestyle, and on the hyper-reality of the advertisement or display which ‘promise more […] than it can ever deliver.’ (Haug, 1986:50) This would suggest that the ideal lifestyle projected by the hyper-real is far more desirable than the product itself. By collaborating with high street stores, my work has directly become submerged within the very context it critiques. By consequence, the viewer is asked to question the reality of their desires and whether these are every truly attainable?

Haug, W.F. (1986) Critique of commodity aesthetics: appearance, sexuality & advertising in capitalist society. Oxford: Polity Press.


– Consumer Desire, from the Seasons Series


– Keeping up with the Joneses, from the Seasons Series


– Consumer Ideals, from the ‘Good Life’ Series


View more work on Jodie’s website.