Nina Bachmann’s works blur the contours of conventional identity while playfully mocking what she calls, “the absurdities of high society.”In our age of social media, high society has less to do with actual social class, and more with one’s influence as mediated by a screen. Our status is defined by how well we can sell an ideal of wealth, fame, and beauty. By how well we can convince others that our own personal illusion is real. That we’ll be forever young. And that it’s possible to revel in orgiastic debauchery without consequences.
In us there is a wellspring of hedonism, the little voice telling us that it won’t hurt to have just one more. Most of us know what it’s like to “let go” in the heat of a moment, and most of us know intimately the highs that come with it. But we also know that no high can last. The higher we go, the harder we fall – an unsettling truth.
The subjects in Nina’s works are euphoric, intoxicated, and jubilant. They are kinky and in a state of arousal. They are even genderless. But their anxious grimaces betray their insecurities and the lingering awareness that all this excess cannot last. And it is this duality that Nina aims to convey to her viewers, who, perhaps seeing themselves reflected on the canvas, are meant to receive a “tenuous pleasure” from her works.
Though a vehicle for social critique, her works are also a celebration, because it’s through decadence and excess that we can extol dolce vita, the sweet life. Using bright and garish colors, Nina gives her viewers a visual feast upon which to gorge as they reflect on their own place in the scenes they see before them.