A heavily armed SWAT team launches a series of surprise attacks on private homes. The agent’s pixelated face is unidentifiable. The style of footage evokes the way violence is documented on Reality TV.


At the end of each attack, we hear hoorays and whistles, as if we were watching a live stage performance. The videos were filmed in Airbnb apartments using a trendy Dropcam video streaming camera.

All the while, a white emoji flag can be seen waving in the corner of the screen. The white flag is traditionally the symbol of surrender in warfare. The White Flag Emoji videos probe the boundaries between the private and public, supervision and surveillance, and the threat of violence and terrorism.

Fame through Instagram performances

Amalia Ulman voices a critical commentary on gender stereotypes and western consumerism.

The artist is best known for her Instagram performances (Excellences & Perfections, 2014) which look at the fabricated identities we create in social media. For this piece, the artists threw herself into various character roles, subjecting herself to cosmetic procedures, slimming and strenuous workouts, after which she posted Instagram images of herself mirroring stereotypical ideals of cuteness and beauty.

The work was originally commissioned by Daata Editions.