Miami museum launches exhibition exclusively on Instagram

Over eight weeks, ‘Joyous Dystopia’ is posting digital works by eight completely different artists.


Instagram is all regarding delighting our visual fancies, whatever they’ll be. (Cute dogs? Check. Drool-worthy desserts? Check. Squishy, crackling slime? Check.) So it’s not shocking that the art world has been experimenting with the platform in its own attention-grabbing ways. Enterprising artists, for example, currently use their profiles to sell directly to collectors. And as Caroline Goldstein reports for artnet News , the Bass museum of Art in Miami beach recently launched an exhibition which will live solely on Instagram.


The show is named “Joyous Dystopia,” and you can find it at @thebasssquared, which the museum describes as its “satellite gallery.” to make the exhibition, the Bass partnered with Daata Editions, a platform, which commissions and exhibits digital artworks.

TheBass2 will post pieces by eight artists over eight weeks—Rosie McGinn, Elliot Dodd, Anaïs Duplan, Jeremy Couillard, Keren Cytter, Eve Papamargariti, Bob Bicknell-Knight and Scott Reeder—with weekly of the exhibition dedicated to a single artist.


According to Claire Selvin of Artnews , the artists will also create use of the Instagram’s extra features, like Instagram TV, where users can post long-form video. However “Joyous Dystopia” isn’t merely taking advantage of a relatively new platform; the featured artists “are commenting on more than just the platform itself, however how they, as artists, interact with it, typically with a quizzical, cynical spin,” David Gryn, Daata Editions founder and curator of the new show, tells Goldstein.


First up was McGinn, who, in line with her website, is “interested in unpicking life’s fleeting moments of euphoria and despair” through numerous mediums, together with video. Her inaugural piece for “Joyous Dystopia” was a brand new work titled God is a DJ, which mixes footage of orchestra conductors with thumping DJ sets. The most recent artist featured on @thebasssquared is Jeremy Couillard, who uses sculpture, drawing and moving pictures in an attempt to “highlight and undermine this contemporary masculinity sense of authority.”


Many museums have become adept at using social media to stimulate younger and more diverse audiences to their hallowed halls—in 2015, as an example, the Los Angeles County museum of Art won a webby Award for its Snapchat account—but the Bass deliberately sought to create “Joyous Dystopia” something distinct from its physical exhibition area. Bass curator Leilani Lynch tells Selvin that the premise of the show “is really quite simple”; it seeks to engage audiences “in how that’s native to them, through their phones.”


“Joyous Dystopia” is an experiment, and its organizers are excited to see how users act with it. If all goes well, Lynchtells Selvin, the Bass might experiment with other digital projects within the future.