Instagrammable art

Instagrammable art

23 September 2020 Off By Facto Edizioni

/ In the age of visual content, museums turn to Instagram /

“Pictures, or it didn’t happen.” The age-long adage with which people have countered stories told by their friends since time immemorial has taken new life since the advent of social media. If something cannot be posted on-line, did it even happen? If you don’t post your vacation pictures on Facebook, did you even go? If you met a celebrity and did not take a selfie with them, was it even true or just a dream? 

Even museums, who used to have a monopoly on interesting visuals before pictures became commonplace, are evolving towards that on-line visual content way of being. “Obviously visitors come to museums to look at paintings, and they also want to take pictures, and in the age of the Internet, they put these pictures on-line on social media sites,” said JiaJia Fei, digital strategist specialized in the art world who collaborated with institutions like the Guggenheim Museum in New York, in a TED Talk titled “Art in the Age of Instagram.” And eloquently, she continued: “In the pre-digital photography era, the message was: ‘This is what I’m seeing. I have seen.’ And today, the message is: ‘I was there. I came, I saw, and I selfied.’”

Wow Museum in Zurigo.

In response to this trend, a new type of installation has begun to appear in recent years: made-for-Instagram museums, which seem to exist only to produce the perfect photo. The first was the Museum of Ice Cream in New York: founder Maryellis Bunn dreamed of frolicking in ice-cream sprinkles, so she created an interactive art gallery based on that concept. Her museum first opened in 2016 as a pop-up experience, then traveled to several other locations, and finally found a permanent home in Soho in 2019 (and later on, another one in San Francisco). It is a triumph of pink, with installations like cone pendant lights, a giant ice cream sandwich swing, and a sprinkle pool. As Scottie Andrew wrote for the CNN: “You may not learn a ton about the history of the beloved dessert, but…

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