ALL ABOUT YOU
All About You is a love song. A promise, a hope, a broken relationship that someone seeks to restore. Following the banking and financial crisis of 2008, many banks closed down while others sought to restore their image. The installation All About You combines both symbols: language and money. The song’s lyrics are bank slogans, which, whispered by a silky voice, sounds very - too - much like the tender words of a lover. As for the patterns on the screens, they are composed by this peculiar sign language called the « open outcry » that traders used on the stock exchange before all transfers were computerized.
All About You est une chanson d’amour. Une promesse, un espoir, une relation brisée dont on cherche à rétablir la confiance. Suite à la crise bancaire et financière de 2008, de nombreuses banques ont mis la clé sous la porte tandis que d’autres ont cherché à redorer leur image. L’installation All About You croise deux symboles, langage et argent. Les paroles de la chanson reprennent des slogans de banques, qui, susurrés d’une voix suave, s’apparentent très - trop - facilement aux mots doux d’un amant. Les motifs des paravents, quant à eux, sont composés de ce curieux langage des signes que les traders utilisaient lors de la « bourse à la criée », autrement dit, avant que les transferts ne soient entièrement informatisés.
All About You, Video Clip, 5'46'', 2017
Singer and pianist - Leyla Huysal
Violinist - Richard Montgomery
Massage sessions with Anastasia de Coster at Musée d’Ixelles, 2017 and with Yury at Moscow Biennale, 2018
Installation view at Ixelles Museum © Vincent Everaerts
All About You, September 24, 2017, Live Performance at Musée d'Ixelles, Brussels
Singer, pianist and composer - Leyla Huysal
Violinist - Richard Montgomery
Chorists - Claire Vailler and Valérie Leclercq
Lyrics and Production - Olivia Hernaïz
All About You, The Koppel Project Hive, 2019 (curated by Alex White)
Her video installation, which shares the exhibition’s title All About You (2017), follows the attempts of international banks at rebranding after the 2008 Financial Crisis. Hernaiz composed a catchy ‘love song’, in which the lyrics are made up of bank slogans used to regain public trust. As for the patterns on the bean bags, they are composed by this peculiar sign language called the « open outcry » that traders used on the stock exchange before all transfers were computerized. The video clip demonstrates the banks’ focus on individual achievement with mantras such as ‘Bank of America: Think what we can do for you’ and ‘Planters Bank: All about you’.
“Olivia Hernaïz and Ruth Waters: takedown of the caring corporates”, Mia London Blog, April 2019 (online) :
In her video installation All About You (2017) Olivia Hernaïz has allowed corporate advertising culture enough rope to hang itself with only minimal intervention from herself. As the major banks close local branches and move online they have become more impersonal yet with unconscious irony their slogans continue to convey the opposite by evoking a personal caring relationship of mutual respect. The Bank of America’s “Think what we can do for you” sounds like it is a branch of social work. They might as well be promoting the lie: “It’s you we care about, not your money”.
Hernaiz has composed a romantic swoon of a song with a charming violin and piano accompaniment and deeply ironic lyrics patched together from the taglines of international banks. My favourite is “The more we know about you, the more we can give you” which seems like a good summary of late capitalism and a frank admission that exploitation of your personal data is integral to their business model. Her video slide show of the banks’ logos and taglines is projected onto the gallery ceiling as we lounge back in the care of a fluffy beanbag. We feel like willing suckers in this sentimental, romantic quest for a financial saviour. Amusing, hard-hitting and thought-provoking take on the insidious nature of personalised marketing strategies.