The Instagram artist who fooled thousands

Between April and September 2014, the Argentine-born artist Amalia Ulman presented herself online as an 'Instagram Girl'. Using popular hashtags from micro-celebrities on the popular social network, Ulman created a three-part performance work that explored how women present themselves online. Entitled Excellences & Perfections, the project saw Ulman take on the roles of 'cute girl', 'sugar baby' and 'life goddess'. These characters were chosen, Ulman says, because "they seemed to be the most popular trends online (for women)".

Arranging them into "an order that could make sense as a narrative", Instagram Amalia moved to the big city, broke up with her long-term boyfriend, did drugs, had plastic surgery, self-destructed, apologised, recovered and found a new boyfriend. By the final post of the project on 19 September 2014, Ulman had amassed 88,906 followers (the account now has more than 110,000). It was only then she revealed the whole thing had been a performance, a work of art, rather than a record of real life.

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