Every Friday, BULLETT’s introducing our favorite Instagram profiles and getting to know the people behind the posts.
@textsfromyourexistentialist is the Instagram that epitomizes your existential angst fused with the one art history class you took in college. Collaging 200-year-old paintings with the contemporary dread of navigating relationships over iMessage, April Henry, the poster behind the account, helps us imagine what Old World Despair would look like if phones and Tinder were a thing when candlesticks were our only source of light. With the saddest dry humor, Henry urges us to question whether the existential crises and inner turmoil we all experience have actually changed at all in the past 500 years––or have we just become too isolated by technology to recognize that when it comes to sadness, we’re no different than every generation before us?
The artist layers iMessage bubbles over stills of French films and classic artworks, posing sentiments untethered to any specific century like, “Wanna project our fears of the unknown onto each other?”––and that’s what we love about her work. She draws on the ageless agony of existing to bridge the gap between now and the 1800s, and makes it clear that fuckboys did, in fact, originate in the consciousness of John William Godward. Though her captions allude mainly to male philosophers, she features a majority of female subjects in her works, clearly showing that women are the major feelers of existential pain.
And though we tried to reach out to Henry for a talk about Sartre, she stood us up before ultimately ghosting us and continuing to post. The futility of media attention must have overwhelmed her, which we totally get. It’s all meaningless. Just like life.
Check out our favorite posts, above. Or don’t, because we’re all going to die alone anyway.