ARTIST PROFILE [PREVIEW]: Exploring Flowers, Tolstoy, and the WiFi on Mount Olympus with Lola Rose Thompson

Lola Rose Thompson’s art doesn’t deal with meme culture —aptly summed up by Megan Hoins as a form of Dadaism—in any explicit way, but her approach to titling her works, much like the combination of text and meme image, is what makes her practice come to life. After all, an artist who uses the titles “Contestants On The Bad Girls Club Arguing About Who Is The Most Villainous,” “The Secret Occult Life Of Professional Basketball Players,” and my personal favorite, “This One Will Make Felipe Calderón Infertile Except On Thursdays,” is an artist who has both a sense of the political and an affinity for the randomly funny.
This One Will Make Felipe Calderón Infertile Except on Thursdays
When I try to describe a “meme” to someone who doesn’t know what they are, I like to say that they’re internet inside jokes of a sort, often involving pictures and text; the “inside” part is key: meme culture invites participation. And the title is as important as the image in Thompson’s work, the former activating the latter and demanding that the viewer take a closer look at what they are seeing. Sometimes it’s a dead end. Sometimes the title is a red herring, like the one invoking Felipe Calderón, and doesn’t have any reflection or referent in the work itself. But at other times, the title provides a lens through which the viewer can consider what Thompson has done, and what she might be saying.

The rest of this profile is in Whitehot Magazine!