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Friends and Friends of Friends

Schlossmuseum / 01. Oct. 2020 till 06. Jan. 2021


Friends, and Friends of Friends
Duration of exhibition: 1 October 2020 - 6 January 2021
Opens: Wednesday, 30 September 2020, 7 pm, at the Schlossmuseum

With the exhibition "Friends, and Friends of Friends" in the Linz Schlossmuseum, the OÖ Landes-Kultur GmbH will be presenting artists* who have achieved international fame via the Internet platform Instagram. The about 20 artists are representative of an artistic movement that capitalises on medialisation and uses virtual networking to increase its recognition. "Awarding likes" to pictures is not only a vehicle for social feedback among friends, but also a direct reaction and recommendation. In addition, new principles of design are emerging that demonstrate parallels with the development of American Pop Art, as formulated by artists such as Andy Warhol and Cindy Sherman. A representative of the connection between digital art and painting is the British artist Oli Epp, who used the term "post-digital pop" as early as in 2017.

At the same time, the "Instagram Artists" reveal a new visual culture that is created through direct interaction with the viewers. In doing so, they respond to the structural requirements of the Instagram format for example, they favour garish colour combinations or make use of the visual logic of internet advertising. Using the formal tools of a media machine, they reflect contemporary reality and current events, but not without subjecting them to critical scrutiny. Sometimes it is the Instagram world itself that is cynically and critically overstated.

The New York artist Gina Beavers, by way of example, analyses make-up courses offered by cosmetics companies on the Internet and exposes the mechanisms of Instagram advertising with her large-scale, impasto paintings. Kris Lemsalu, who represented Estonia at the Venice Art Biennale in 2019, presents seemingly real traces of a fantastic world in her installation "Evian Desert 2". In his collage-like pictures, Brandon Lipchik transposes the aesthetics of American feature films of the 1980s and 1990s. Like a camera drone, he directs his gaze from an extreme bird's-eye perspective towards the private sphere of men in their petty-bourgeois surroundings.

The exhibition filters these artworks from the context of social media, presents them in a museum surrounding and opens up new possibilities of artistic perception. The works of art that attract attention on the small screen of a smartphone can be experienced directly. It will be fascinating to see which works the visitors* are attracted to, take photographs of, and potentially post on their own Instagram account. In this way the exhibition embraces the challenges of modern and internationally effective museum practice.

Gina Beavers, Daniel Boccato, Shawanda Corbett, Nick Doyle, Oli Epp, Al Freeman, Dominique Fung, Roxanne Jackson, Cheyenne Julien, Austin Lee, Kris Lemsalu, Dale Lewis, Brandon Lipchik, Rene Matić, Jebila Okongwu, Harrison Pearce, Peter Schuyff, Devan Shimoyama, Sarah Slappey, Ben Spiers

Image inscription: Oli Epp, Evol Love, 2019, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 130 x 150 cm
Image copyright: © Courtesy of Oli Epp and Carl Kostyál Gallery, Photo: Yuki Shima

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