A Miami Museum Is Launching an Exhibition Exclusively Made for Instagram. It’s Called ‘Joyous Dystopia,’ of Course

The show launches today via Instagram.

Jeremy Couillard, Self Portrait As a Dingus (2019) still from film. Courtesy of the artist.
Jeremy Couillard, Self Portrait As a Dingus (2019) video still. Courtesy of the artist and Daata Editions.

Public art used to mean sculptures in parks or billboards on busy city highways. Now, one museum is taking art to the people where they really live: on their phones.

The Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach is launching an exhibition exclusively on Instagram, posting a series of works on a new social media account, @TheBassSquared. The show, which opens today, is called “Joyous Dystopia” and has been organized by David Gryn, founder of Daata Editions, an online platform for native digital and new media work.

A new artist’s work will debut on the platform each week for the show’s eight-week run. The participating artists are: Bob Bicknell-Knight, Jeremy Couillard, Keren Cytter, Elliot Dodd, Anaïs Duplan, Rosie McGinn, Eva Papamargariti, and Scott Reeder.

“Some of them are creating one-minute videos, some new work is [being] made to fit within the medium,” Gryn told artnet News. Each artist has previously worked with Daata Editions, and Gryn—who also spent eight years curating the film program at Art Basel Miami Beach—thought they would be open to tackling this new exhibition strategy.

Jeremy Couillard, Self Portrait As a Dingus (2019) still from film. Courtesy of the artist.

Jeremy Couillard, Self Portrait As a Dingus (2019) still from film. Courtesy of the artist and Daata Editions.

The Bass curator Leilani Lynch stressed the importance of creating a separate online platform for the show in the form of The Bass² Instagram account. In order “delineate the artist’s content,” she told artnet News, “we want this to exist purely as an exhibition space.”

The show came to fruition thanks to a Knight Foundation Prototype Grant, which gave organizers the resources to make something new and work with artists to develop custom work, instead of, say, just doing an artist-Instagram takeover of the main Bass Museum account.

Jeremy Couillard, Self Portrait As a Dingus (2019) still from film. Courtesy of the artist.

Jeremy Couillard, Self Portrait As a Dingus (2019) still from film. Courtesy of the artist and Daata Editions.

The artists aren’t out purely to celebrate the form, however. The exhibition’s spirit—about finding humor and joy in potentially unsettling circumstances—means that some of the work reflects a discomfort with the medium and how it can be used to distract from real life. “They are commenting on more than just the platform itself, but how they, as artists, interact with it, sometimes with a quizzical, cynical spin,” Gryn says.

The show will kick off this evening to coincide with a discussion between Leilani and Gryn at the Bass, and will run through September 2019 online.


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