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View of “Amalia Ulman,” 2016. Photo: Tim Bowditch.

Amalia Ulman

Arcadia Missa

View of “Amalia Ulman,” 2016. Photo: Tim Bowditch.

“On the Internet, no one knows you’re an artist.” These words, written in 2010 by critic Ed Halter, expressed the identity crisis suffered by early online artists, swamped by legions of teenage internet virtuosos whose proficiency with cut-and-paste culture often exceeded that of most MFA grads. Argentinean-born, Spanish-raised, UK-educated, Los Angeles–based Amalia Ulman is among those who in subsequent years carved a role for artists operating in the digital youniverse. In her online performance Excellences & Perfections, 2014, Ulman fabricated an idealized social-media avatar by feeding her Instagram account with staged selfies. These “true-life” pictures chronicled a fictitious life in three acts: youthful temptress, social-media victim, lifestyle diva. Ulman’s mimicry of the web’s peculiar contest for the self-absorbed—sexy, aspirational, objectified, weirdly blank—was

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