'Texts From Your Existentialist' Instagram Captures All Your Timeless Existential Dread In Hilarious Text Messages
We've all had those late night-text conversations that seem to plumb the depths of the universe, right? The ones that either plunge you into a pit of despair or make you feel like you've figured out the meaning of life? Well, good news: Texts From Your Existentialist totally knows where you're coming from. Consisting of both an Instagram account and an accompanying Tumblr, it captures all your existential angst in pithy little text messages sent from the Lady of Shalott, Rick Blaine, and those wacky people shown in some Magritte paintings with their faces covered in shrouds.
Although Texts From Your Existentialist isn't exactly new, it's still pretty recent: The earliest posts date back to the beginning of December, 2014. Initially the project used largely old photographs and vintage film stills as its background images (hi there, Casablanca!); as time has gone on, though, it's begun relying more firmly on paintings, drawings, and sometimes sculptures. There's the occasional Roy Lichtenstein piece mixed in there, too. Admittedly they're funnier if you're super up on your existentialist and nihilist philosophy; most of us have the basics already built into our culture frames of reference at this point, though, so even if you haven't read Neitzsche, you'll probably still be able to spot a Thus Spake Zarathustra joke when you see it.
It's becoming increasingly common to see contemporary art projects combining very old art with very new forms of commentary or communication. Texts From Your Existentialist is one; WTF Renaissance is another; Svetlana Petrova's Fat Cat Art is yet a third. But why are these sorts of projects so appealing to us? Well, first off, they're just funny; but I suspect even the humor comes back to one very specific point: No matter how old or young you are, there are some things about the human condition with which we will always struggle. The mode of delivery — text message, Twitter, whatever — may change from time to time and from generation to generation; the message, though, is often the same. In the case of Texts From Your Existentialist, it's about questions: Why are we here? How did we get here in the first place? Should we be doing something more with ourselves?
But hey, even if we haven't worked out the answers to all these existential questions yet, at least Texts From Your Existentialist makes it so we don't have to wonder about them alone — and encourages us to chuckle at both them and ourselves at the same time. Sometimes, laughter really is the best medicine.
Images: @TextsFromYourExistantialist/Instagram (7)