Kardashian’s body – highly stylised and instantly recognisable – appears as a site of intense objectification in contemporary culture. It a form of objectification that suits commodification well. Perhaps more than any other celebrity today, her own celebrity seems fixed in a frozen form, like Medusa turned to stone.
Tyler Payne

Works by Tyler Payne, Installation view, Site 8 Gallery, RMIT University

Image credit Janelle Low © 2022

Fountain of Youth

© Tyler Payne 2021 Electro bri-collage animation

43 seconds

Keeping Time
Keeping Time is a series of three electro-bri-collage animations that investigate how myth cycles are rife with stories designed to oppress women and their agency. These narratives often ‘legitimize male privilege by muting female authority.’ Kim Kardashian is the muse of these animations. After bursting into notoriety and fame in 2007 with a sex-tape, Kardashian has built a billion dollar empire. My work is preoccupied with the fact that the invention of social media has allowed for new intensities of commodification and the intrusion of capitalist commodification into more intimate forms of life than ever before (the commodification of communication via emojis for example). In terms of a ‘capitalist’ who has mastered accumulation through these new commodity forms, Kim Kardashian is, in my view, exemplary. The animations are littered with visual examples of her beauty empire. The project of the Kardashian body is an attempt to satisfy the symbolic demands of the male gaze in the real. Kardashian has, in a way, cosmetically enhanced and shaped her body to become a surrealist object itself, a superimposition of the ideal and the real.
Aesthetics (In Front of the Mirror)

After Władysław Czachórsk

© Tyler Payne 2020

iPad, moving image and timber 23cm x 36cm

Garden of KKW alludes to the Garden of Eden myth in Christian mythology, elaborating on the suggestion of religious sentiment found in Kim Kardashian-West’s advertising and public announcements. This garden, an animated collage, is populated with commodities from Kardashian-West’s brand, including ‘Kimojis’, saleable digital icons that commodify communication (‘#BLESSED’). This continues Kardashian-West’s commodification of everyday life in digital communities.

The theme of corruption in the Eden myth stands ironically beside Kardashian-West’s own corruption of religious symbols for commercial ends (what is called ‘simony’). Kardashian-West’s beatific turn, like Kanye West’s recent ‘Sunday Services’, suggests self-deification, trading on the contemporary cultural association between celebrity and deity.


© Tyler Payne 2021 Electro bri-collage animation

1 minute & 18 seconds

Garden of KKW

© Tyler Payne 2020 Electro bri-collage animation

21 seconds