ARTY FARTY: HOW THIS YEAR'S TURNER PRIZE WENT ALL SOCIAL MEDIA FRIENDLY
As a blogger you never know what delving into your inbox is going to hold each day. Opportunities can come thick and fast, and I was well chuffed (British way of saying 'very happy') that I got a press preview invite to experience the nominations for the highly contended Turner Prize. Basically, if you don't know what the Turner prize is (and I didn't until a few years back) it's basically a big f*cking deal in the British art world. Previous nominated artists have included Grayson Perry, Gilbert & George, Tracy Emin, Lucian Freud and Damien Hirst. But this year it had a difference: the Turner prize suddenly embraced social media.
I love the rebellious side of British art, especially conceptual pieces.
So I almost find it quite bizarre that generally the whole art world can be perceived as quite snobby and stuffy. God forbid you create something that's not got some deep meaning, and is actually, just fucking cool. So it was a little bit surprising to say the least that I was invited to the Turner prize preview by Facebook!
Facebook wanted a bunch of us to go down and live stream our experiences using their new live technology. I'm a fan and I use it often, especially for keeping up to date with my No Bull Blog School students, so I was happy to oblige. The idea being that we are taking the power usually handed to the art critics and instead passing it onto the masses. My kinda talk.
Once inside the exhibition, one thing became clear. The art world has been infiltrated by social media.
Everything was super instagram friendly and make perfect social media fodder. Who can deny that a humungous ass was not put into the Turner prize with the obvious intention of becoming the most snapped-and-instagram-posted?
It was interesting to visit this exhibition almost directly after visiting the Chanel sponsored E.S Devlin Mirror Maze - something I'll post soon. It almost played into the notion of vanity overtaking art. The mirror maze was full of people taking selfies and falling in love with their reflection - me included.
Of course there are downsides to this too, artists feeling obliged to create works that are shareable on social media is a problem. But in a world where followers, likes and shares means everything, isn't that an art in itself?
If people want to get all up in arms about the art world succumbing to the materialistic mainstream love of socials then so be it - personally I'm all for the art world being less bloody elitist and allowing everyone to enjoy art in the way that they so wish.