Shrimp Mermaid Goddess is part of the La Emoji Lujuria Collection, a series of works by Carla Gannis which examine contemporary culture in relation to historic culture through the layering of traditional works with emoji. This work reflects on sexuality as it plays out in the digital age, mediated by smartphones and transmitted as pixels while never fully disconnected from historic framings of gender and sex. “Human sexuality is personified, played with, and pondered in the video art of Carla Gannis” - Anna Frants in response to Shrimp Mermaid Goddess.
In her work, Gannis often combines art historical reference with smartphone culture, layering and splicing works from the “Canon” with contemporary imagery. This process of remixing is alternately reflective, parodic, humorous and critical, and allows imagery - and the social constructions behind that imagery - from different places and times to be compared and contrasted. Human tendencies, ideologies, or societal constructions that have ultimately not changed for centuries are at times made visible in the new and little explored language of emoji, while at other times Gannis’s mashups speak to what has changed culturally as a result of paradigm shifts, technology and cultural revolutions.