Sworn to Fun, Loyal to None
182.9cm x 182.9cm x 5.4cm
Aesthetically similar to the painted color charts of Gerhard Richter (German, born 1932) and Ellsworth Kelly (American, born 1923), Coupland’s canvases magnify boldly hued pixels into seeming abstractions that are instantly recognizable as the QR codes ever-present in contemporary Western society. When scanned by a smartphone, each of these painted codes leads the viewer to a unique, rudimentary statement on human existence. Ranging from dark evocations (“You’ll be dead before I write these words. I tell you, you are going to miss a world of wondrous changes.”) to humorous slogans (“May the Force be with you.”), the hidden texts satisfy the current generation’s penchant for instantaneous information while enabling Coupland to bypass popular search engines such as Google and communicate directly with his audience. Ultimately, his modern memento moris remind us not only of our own mortality but also, more impressively, of technology’s stark perpetuity.