Valentino Russo (Rome, 1994), is interested in the reuse and re-contextualization of images from online sources—sometimes mixed with original material. This process mirrors the endless recycling of culture that takes place in our social-media based society, a landscape characterized by the impossibility to distinguish between real and fake, true and false, right and wrong. Around all the collected images, a narrative is constructed, turning the visual material in metaphors, characters, and allegories that depict a distorted and often dreamlike reality.
The story of “2041” is partially inspired by the novel 1984 by George Orwell. In “2041” the events take place in a dystopic future where social relationships exist exclusively within the Internet and the social networks. Specifically, Facebook turned people into “Big Brothers”: everyone knows everything about anyone, the “delete profile” function has been disabled forever, and for those that do not fit in the system, there is no mercy. The only goal and purpose in this “social-network based” reality is that of collecting the most “likes”. The amount of “likes” defines people’s identities and determines whether one’s life is worth being lived. But then, thanks to a computer bug, one young boy manages to delete his Facebook profile and finally go “offline”. What happens next, is total panic.