The more I look at galleries and exhibits, the more I think that curators need to think more about marketing.
There is a very simple thing that gets infinitely more complicated when it comes to making spaces where photographers show off their work better. While the art spaces should really, truly be about focusing on the art, the truth of the matter is that everyone and their mother is going to take pictures and share later on social media at one time or another. And so I think that traditional art galleries and museums need to find a way to modernize and therefore make their installations interactive and dare I say it–Instagrammable.
I’m the first photographer to tell you how much I really hate Instagram and the platform. It barely gives us or any other publication any traffic and there are better ways of working to get clients for photographers. But for institutions to get their work shared, it’s pretty important for their userbase to share what they’re experiencing on social media.
So where am I going with this? I think that it’s important that art space be places that people really truly want to share in a way that seems fun. It’s nice to share one of Bresson’s images, but what if there was a way that you could “Bresson-ize” yourself into one of his classic frames shot with a 50mm lens and black and white film?
The easiest way to do this: put up some stupid neon lighting that’s super bright and that someone will stand in front of while their friends take 70,000 photos for 3 minutes straight and for no solid reason. But perhaps these are quotes and phrases from the famous photographers.
As much as I really hate typing all of this, I think that it is imperative for the art world and for the photography world first and foremost. We need to find a way to remind people that photography can and is an art form beyond just them capturing what they see in front of them. Instead of capturing, we need to remind folks that we can create and therefore put unique images out into the world.