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See u online, Bety Better (2021)

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Through her artistic alter-ego BetyBetter, Bety Krnanska offers a unique view of projecting her own body along with her work, exploring new ways of communicating art in the online digital domain. The project hints towards the conflicts between female intimacy in the private domain, and online platforms dominated by the male gaze, power and sexuality. In her work, Bety Krňanská aka Bety Better works with the legacy of decorative ornaments, which is closely connected with the historical periods of past centuries. Decorative lines, framing, applications in architecture, we can think of all this as a very aesthetic language that complements the austerity and functionality from the poster to the facade of the facade.

Let's not be too fooled by these connotations. Krňanská has no ambition to continue the tradition of decor or ornament as such. The floral or geometric fractals made of bent metal, which Bety documented during her stay in Athens, were only a study material for learning this language. Much more important than the design of the ornaments, the symbolic function of the bars and railings, which are ubiquitously provided with decorative elements throughout Athens, is symbolic for her work. The private space is functionally separated, perhaps even protected by the metal grilles just mentioned and the various elements that ensure our impenetrability into our own space. Just like on the Internet, antiviruses protect us against malicious malware in the form of ones and zeros. Krňanská attempts to turn the common division between the private/intimate and the public/shared space upside down.

With the help of the Only Fans application, which has transformed from a primarily community based environment for celebrities and music artists into a platform that resembles erotic content websites. Young girls and boys, students, and often single mothers, are looking to fund living costs or other needs through the aforementioned application, by providing intimate content.

Erotic to pornographic photos sell well in this application to users who are usually interested in the private environment of ordinary people, hungry for their intimacy, which is stimulated by sexual lust. She consciously delves into this environment and uses the tools of the application as part of an online practice. It offers viewers a way to gaze at her own body within the context of her art practice and studio environment, creating a performative act along with her own work.

The paintings we see here are full of lines and curves in various color scales, also displayed in colors that the artist herself makes from natural materials. The bars, which in the beginning served to protect the private, are now deformed and dissolved under colored gestures. On the contrary, what was stored behind them is released not only into public but also shared virtual space. This release, however, is conditioned by the capital that each user must release and thus gain financial access to the valuable content that Beta releases into the Internet. If the viewer is interested, they can subscribe to sensitive content. All this is also conditioned by the agreement and contractual conditions of the application.