"CONNECTING PEOPLE" used to be the tagline of what was once the most popular mobile phone manufacturer, Nokia. The tagline was accompanied by the image of two hands reaching toward each other, a clear reference to Michelangelo’s “Creation of Adam,” and it appeared on the display during each switch on. Miriam Beichert revisits the era of heavy, brick-like phones with a feeling of nostalgia while reflecting on the aesthetics of consumerism. Her paintings are portraits of different phone models, paying homage to outdated electronics that once served as the primary means of communication. With blurry lines and blackout screens, the phones appear as an unclear memory, a notion we cannot readily recall.
However, did the Nokia phones indeed live up to the promising "CONNECTING PEOPLE'' tagline? Miriam Beichert offers us a rather bitter answer through her art. Meanwhile, the two hugging subjects in one of her canvases (CONNECTING PEOPLE, 2023) are sharing an intimate moment. One of them is looking at their phone, being absent-minded and preoccupied with the online realm instead. In the other, larger canvas (CONNECTING PEOPLE 2, 2023), Beichert captures the moment of pedestrians passing by on the street, glaring at their phones and ignoring their surroundings. She makes a point that technology can disconnect us from the physical world. Nevertheless, the relatability and familiarity of these experiences are what make Beichert’s art so comforting and resonant.
Miriam Beichert(*1999) lives and works in Stuttgart. She last studied in the class of Daniel Richter at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.