"In a daze in the lobby, I think about how I wanted to talk to Ulman, not because I wanted to talk art, but mostly because I wondered how she exists outside of her perplexing Instagram presence. Her work is constantly turning into itself to reflect poignantly on the construction of identity and the way aesthetics, class, gender and politics intersect. Destabilizing the viewer’s expectations may be at the centre of what I know of Ulman’s practice, where lines are blurred and extremes are inhabited so as to comment on the power of aesthetics and power in general. Her work is a mix of things that make me feel nervous, but changed. Morbid romantic aesthetic—succinct, accessible, yet poetic. She even makes clunky symbols, tacky fonts and Powerpoint both eerie and elegant. I am seduced. But I am more so disarmed and in awe of how her work speaks so directly to many of my own anxieties around being a woman and an artist in 2016. Our conversation is no different.
Her latest performance, Privilege, revolves around a staged progressing pregnancy and an at times sick and exhausted protagonist who occupies a greyish office space with her pet pigeon. The scenes, videos, cartoons, images and installation work blend meticulous elements of silent cinema, with creepy beautiful performances. Closing elevator doors feature heavily, as does melancholic singing. Essentially, the feed plays out like the storyboard for a one-woman Italian futurist film staged in an office tower. She discusses the project as a departure from her first Instagram performance wherein she became characters (inside herself) that were more distanced from the art world. Now she is creating a more direct caricature of herself. In saying so, she reminds me that she was saddened when her previous performance was taken as critique of different lifestyles, her work is always about her own insecurities and desires, she explores what she is attracted to, so to better understand why."

Zoe Koke, Editorial Magazine, 2016


Throughout the duration of Privilege, Ulman conducted a series of interviews and media appearances with a wide-range of publications, from a studio visit with the New York Times to cover stories for L’Officiel Art and Editorial Magazine, among others. These media stories were more than just the artist complying with overeager press outlets, with Ulman co-opting her press appearances to serve Privilege itself. Ulman’s calculated repurposing saw her media appearances become tools of repetitive promotion bordering on propaganda for the performance, additional visual material to be re-incorporated into the performance’s feed.

L'Officiel Art, cover, December 2016.


Editorial Magazine, cover, November 2016.


Gucci Instagram campaign, 2015


i-D Magazine
, March 2016. Photos by Renata Raksha.



Under the Influence, fashion editorial, March 2016. Photos by Daisy Walker.


L'Officiel Art, alternative cover, December 2016.


The New York Times
, studio visit, March 2016. Photography by Sean Donola.

Bon Magazine
, editorial, January 2016. Photos by Ilia Ovechkin.



Flair Magazine
, fashion story, September 2016. Photography by Ilia Ovechkin & Ulman.


Elle China, September 2016. Photography by Xiaopeng Yuan.






A job is a job is a job

Privilege: The Book

✔Chaoyang Wildlife