In Curating: Practices we had varying guest curators lecturing on a weekly basis and had to deliver a final curated project.
For this project, I chose to do an exhibition where I explored the issue of artwork being shared on social media without being credited. By placing the works of artists – whose main platform is Instagram – in a formal gallery space, with their names “deleted” from the labels, I aimed to portray the immorality of an act which is widespread (and often inconsequential) online.
I chose six works by six artists to display in this exhibition (Sarah Bahbah, Sarah Andreasson, Jheyda McGarrel, Prue Stint & Honey Long, Polly Nor, Loza Maleombho). All of which being the works of young millennial women artists who have established a strong following through Instagram. I felt it important to display these artists and their work as they explore the experiences of young women and create a representation of this experience in a way that is quite absent in gallery spaces. Their presence in the art world is valuable but also may not have been possible without social media, as galleries do not historically feel as inclusive and representative for young women artists.
I also decided to include a take-away text in the exhibition, placed on a table by the prints hung up. In this text I included an explanation of the aim of the exhibition with all the links and names of the artists displayed in the exhibition. Through this I aimed to allow this exhibition to create an opportunity for the audience to personally engage with the artists seen at this exhibition with a heightened sense of awareness of the power and responsibility that comes with this engagement.
A final addition to this exhibition was to have a sign indicating that there is no photography or videomaking allowed in this space. This was due to the fact that at times, people will walk into an exhibition, will browse and take photos, but not read the text. Hence, through this sign I intended to reduce the risk of someone taking a photograph of the pieces they liked and sharing it on social media, without crediting the artists as they did not see the text.
For me, the main beneficial aspect of having this curating project was that this was the first time I was creating an exhibition where the “art piece” wasn’t necessarily the main focal point in the dialogue I was trying to create. I was out of my comfort zone but was happy with the result. It made me realize that I’d always approached curation in terms of themes and how pieces looked together. I had never really experimented with it beyond hanging a painting on a wall. This term I aim to be more experimental with regards to curation and create pieces in which I’ve put in more thought into how the presentation can affect the relationship the viewer has with a piece.