Instagram Performance- Online Degree Show

Maria Paraschidou, Screen Recording, part of my Instagram performance, 7th of May 2020, Athens.

The idea of creating a different online exhibition occupied me for a while. My work during quarantine focused mainly on my self and the exploration of my concerns during such periods. Testing exhibitions with the data I gathered, proved more and more that this was not what I wanted to show as my Degree Show.

The idea of trying a new medium of art, performance art, was something that I wanted to explore lately, however, nothing before this situation could have a link to my practice and performance art.

Through this preformative piece I experienced moments of pleasure, enjoyment, devastation and fear. Such feelings are definitely evident during creating art of any medium, however, during performance art the self exposure on the public world is an extra weight to carry.

Feed

@mariooopar, Instagram Page, Maria Paraschidou, 2020


Because of the outbreak situation, I wanted to express myself, my concerns and experiences through a medium of art that was the closest to me during the period. Instagram seemed like the perfect venue for an alternative exhibition commentating upon self representation in contemporary life.

My performance took part on the 7th and 8th of May and was initially planed to be on for 24 hours non stop, however, after being very tiered I stopped at 7 am and started again at 1 pm the next day. I completely stopped the performance after the 26 hours of being active with posting an image every 5 minutes.
Obviously there where things that went wrong and situations that were difficult to handle during dealing with the performance as well.
I was completely dedicated to my phone for the entire activity.
I hated it after that.

Highlights

CSAD Instagram Questions

Why do I make art?

I make art to express my concerns and notions. I make art because I can not exist otherwise. I strongly believe that art is a means of protest as well as a way of questioning the fundamentals.

What am I making at the moment?

I enjoy creating with several mediums, I lately use photography. Through capturing moments and scenes I unveil the beauty of reality that is frequently forgotten. My interest mainly focuses on street photography and urban fabric. In my frames, I include little details of the streets, illegal public and street art as well as urban structures. However, I also enjoy photographing house utilities and objects that form my everyday routine, trying to create a series of similar pictures at different times and places. 

How has lockdown affected my practice?

Due to the Covid-19 breakdown, I was forced to focus more on my “house experience” during the quarantine period. Hence, my work currently formes by a body of work influenced by my everyday reality, the low creativity, and low motivation of the period. However, it helped me to concentrate and experiment with new ideas such as performance art. My online Degree Show Exhibition was an Instagram performance were I was uploading a spontaneous phone picture every 10 minutes for 24 hours. My aim was to express and question my contemporary addictions and obsessions to and with the image as well as commentate on the countless information that pops up every second on social media. With humor, I tried to attract my followers’ attention to the exaggeration of the individual’s privacy exposure.

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Catalog Artist Statement

 

 

Maria Paraschidou

BA (HONS) Fine Art

marioparasch@gmail.com

07594700802

mariaparaschidou.wordpress.com

 

My practice is about exploring the streets that we live in. I believe that we ignore the power that we have to challenge and change the norms of how public space is perceived and configured. My art tries to unveil the uniqueness of urban reality as well as its relationship with the contemporary human. 

My work is currently embodied in three different ways of image-making. Black and white film photography, high-quality digital photography, and low-quality phone photography. Through film photography, I found a way of protesting against my addiction to fast art and fast image creation. I slowed down and observed more. The slow image-making procedure of film photography enables me to spotlight the pleasant monotony of every single experience. By framing little details that surround me on my everyday routine, I try to highlight the ignored and the not important. Inspired by the overwhelming bombarding of information through social media, I wanted to throw my work into a new experience, outside my safe zone. The limited number of images that can be captured through film photography forces me to pay attention to the framed material, thus, uncover a unique beauty of reality. 

However, due to Covid-19, I was forced to change my practice. Being unable to interact within the street and develop my films, I was forced to use digital cameras and capture my “house experience” during the lockdown. Contrastingly, I chose to overuse digital photography and create countless images of similar objects and scenes inside my personal living space.

Influenced by the current situation of Covid-19 and the countless information bombarding social media, I forced myself to deeper explore the contemporary nature of exposure of privacy and everyday routine on social media. Thus, I exposed myself through a 24hour Instagram performance during which I recursively posted numerous spontaneous, non-premeditated, low-quality phone images every ten minutes. Through my practice I question fundamental qualities and addictions of contemporary life.

 

Notes and Unfinished concept ideas:

Frequently, I call myself a painter, I recently stopped painting.

My need to be an artist derives from my necessity of observing very carefully everything that surrounds me. I currently use different kinds of photography exploring slow and fast creation of image as well as the relationship between black and white film photography, high-quality digital photography, and low-quality phone photography. I am interested in the desire that people have of capturing reality yet alternating and editing it afterward.

Through black and white film photography, I was able to unveil the nostalgic side of the image resembling times when you needed to carefully appoint and frame. Hence, the slow prosses of image-making can reveal a lot more than what can be seen, feelings and imagination. A single frame can be developed in different intensities and create various shapes and shades, that uncover a whole new world of little details. Consequently, the image can be transformed from a caption of reality to an artwork reminding different decades.

Digital photography and phone photography on the other hand, force me to explore the contemporary representation of objects and the human form. Vivid color and numerous different images of the same frame uncover addictions and obsessions of the 21st century.

Influenced by the current situation of Covid-19, I forced myself to deeper explore the contemporary nature of image-making of self-representation and everyday routine on social media. By exposing myself through a 24hour Instagram performance of recursively posting images every ten minutes, I questioned fundamental qualities and addictions.

Exploring the exact opposite of what I used to do before Covid-19

My work is about exploring the streets that we live in. I believe that we ignore the power that we have to challenge and change our fundamental norms of public space and our civic landscape. My art tries to unveil the uniqueness of urban reality as well as its relationship with the contemporary human.

My work is currently embodied in three different ways of image-making. Balck and white film photography, high-quality digital photography, and low-quality phone photography.  Through film photography, I found a way of protesting against my addiction to fast art and fast image creation. I slowed down and observed more. The slow image-making procedure of film photography enables me to spotlight the monotony and pleasure of every single experience. By framing little details that surround me on my everyday routine, I try to highlight the ignored and the not important. Inspired by the overwhelming bombarding of information through social media, I wanted to throw my work into a new, out of my safe zone, experience. The limited number of images that can be captured through film photography forces me to pay attention to the framed material, thus, uncover a unique beauty of reality.

However, due to Covid-19, I was forced to change my practice. Being unable to interact within the street and develop my films I was forced to use digital cameras and capture my “house experience” during the lockdown. Contrastingly, I chose to overuse digital photography and create countless images of similar objects and landscapes of the house.

Influenced by the current situation of Covid-19 and the bombarded social media with countless information, I forced myself to deeper explore the contemporary nature of image-making of self-representation and everyday routine on social media. By exposing myself through a 24hour Instagram performance of recursively posting numerous low phone quality images every ten minutes, of the particular moment with no previous observation of the environment or planing, I questioned fundamental qualities and addictions of contemporary life.

The final one

Exposure ADZ6888 Final- 3

Post 3: At least 3 contextual references related to ways of exhibiting your work. These can include exhibitions you visited or researched, specific techniques you applied to your exhibition ideas, and other relevant material that informed your decisions. These references can apply to both your Degree Exhibition as originally planned and/or the adjustments you had to make for an online submission due to COVID-19.

Tracy Emin

Tracy Emin exhibited her own bed as an exposure of herself, a self portrait installation. Looking at preformative and installation artists I always faced the problem to understand the reasons behind artworks. I could understand that it is different and smart to create something that is new, but how does such and idea initiate? Why would you place objects that in a specific display can be named artworks?

How does your artistic practice become revolutionary?

Looking at Emins’s work I am not impressed by the artwork or the outcome, however, it makes me want to think “why” would she expose such a dirty and an unhappy personal environment, and “why” do people admire such an action?

The answer could lay next to the “why” is abstract art popular?

This leads me to the outcome that the “why” occurs after every glimpse of the artwork.

I chose to have a preformative piece for my final exhibition, because I found my self looking deeper into questions rather than outcomes. I believe that I will sooner or later go back to painting, however, photography and performance art enabled me to experience the activity and ask questions that are not linked to aesthetically pleasing or photo-realistic outcomes.

It forces me to face art through philosophical questions and concepts.

Dimitris Papaioanou

Dimitris Papaioanou, 2(TWO), 2006.

INSIDE (2011) / full six-hour work by Dimitris Papaioannou. One shot. Unedited

Is the first time I realised I am actually influenced by everything that I experience everyday. My work can not be purely work. Artists can not be employees of art and work 8 hours a day. I work all day everyday.

Is the first time I actually believe I am an artist.

Looking into performances during quarantine I felt a strong will to do something physical, I refused to upload my work on a data base and just show it as pictures.

The choreographer Dimitris Papaioanou at the performance 2(TWO), exaggerates the technology element in contemporary life, with simple and humoristic components. With references to Matrix and 21st century cinema, satire about the Greek reality and the male figure, he inspired me to create a contemporary exhibition using simple and unremarkable materials.

Jenny Ringley, life stream 1996-2003, Jennicam

https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-37681006

It’s bizarre how quickly we adapt to the technology advances. 1996 Jennicam unstoppable life streaming of personal space was something very strange and weird to do as well as follow and observe. Her life streaming was consisted by still pictures that would change every 15 seconds and form a series of pictures playing the role of the video that could not load because of the low internet connection of the period. To my eyes her performance was something like Instagram nowadays. Her artwork gave me the idea to post frequently pictures during my performance. I ended up with the idea to upload unfiltered, reality pictures every 5 minutes.

Nan Golding

I was looking to Nan Golding because of her use of photography to document her life. She uses photography to create a visual autobiography in a no filtered, candid environment of reality. I loved the way she frames herself and her close circle of people, her pictures remind me the cinema, like they are stills of horror films. In the early 70s she uses the camera in the same way we use our phones today, to take a picture of every dull thing we see. However, she framed her material so well that the outcome is extremely artistically pleasing and full of feelings.

http://www.artnet.com/artists/nan-goldin/

Exposure ADZ6888 Final- 2

Post 2: a written statement about your artistic practice. The statement must be no more than 300 words long.

#288notthatmany, Instagram Performance, Maria Paraschidou, Athens, 2020.

Is my life my artistic practice?

Photography enables me to document my life and approach reality from an artistic perspective.

My practice is currently formed by different types of photography. I use photography to capture the beauty of reality that I find in everyday moments, I try to focus on little details that we usually slip by during our everyday routines. I try to find my framed material within my normality and expose moments of personal pleasure and interest.

My work is greatly influenced by my addictions of contemporary life that is heavily linked to social media representation and privacy exposure. Thus, I lately chose to create a preformative piece, captured simply with my phone camera, in order to explore my activity on-line through the original medium of use, the phone. By way of my online performance of posting countless images on Instagram for twenty-four hours, I created a discourse upon themes of overindulgence of image, decadence of the communication networks as well as obsession with self representation and promotion.

Using low quality digital photography I wanted to highlight the aesthetics of our era. When everything takes place online, there is no longer need for a physical venue to host an exhibition. My exhibition was a celebration of the banality of the new era, and simultaneously a critique upon the absence of physical quality and creativity when everything has been done before.

Exposure ADZ6888 Final 1

Post 1: A proposal related to the exhibition you would have presented if COVID-19

confinement had not occurred.

My work before Covid-19 outbreak was focusing on slow image-making procedures through film photography that was mainly black and white. It was an exploration of the original and physical creation of depiction of reality, that occurred as an opposition to my contemporary life style. Being overloaded by random digital information, countless image availability and bombardment, I felt fatigue and disgusted.

I wanted to explore the romantic and nostalgic side of real photography. I wanted to explore the routes and create my own physical data of image that can be physically edited and duplicated, but will never be the same image.

Little Protests,

This is a series of pictures highlighting the individual’s artistic touch found in the street. I looked closely and carefully in every alley and hidden street to photograph public marks that avow need of creative expression in public space. I perceive that public space vandalism, as people denominate it usually, is a very creative means of questioning and criticising the society’s fallacious apprehension about public space use and public space beauty.

Little Protests series, Maria Paraschidou, Canon AE-1 Program, B&W Retro Film 400, Cardiff, 2019.

As I was working with developing my own pictures I started finding interest in the anomalies of the outcome. I would develop one set of film several times to create different outcomes of the same image, this procedure gave me incredible outcomes of distorted images like the pictures underneath.

My initial idea for the Degree Show exhibition was to create a street scene, almost like an installation piece, where I would create a chaotic background, foul of paint and graffiti, that would be contrasting with two big black and white paintings inspired by my photographs.

I soon changed my mind and started thinking more about exhibiting the actual developed photographs potentially with not such a messy background. I had several ideas, I made a research in creating my own billboards to place my pictures in as well as print the in a big scale and a more professional way. Both ideas were extremely expensive, thus, I had to come up with a more doable idea.

My work were more and more focusing on photography rather than painting, as a result I started trying out ways of displaying pictures.

I tried out making collages on the wall with the small versions of the pictures. I tried different rooms and lightnings, I also took part in an exhibition with a combination of photography and video art as my artworks.

This led to my final idea before the Covid-19 outbreak.

I had two planed trips to go to Berlin and then Athens over Easter time, where I would document different street environments with my film camera as well as video document my experiences through an old analogue video camera. I was thinking of creating a series of contemporary image captured through a contrasting way of creating image that would be slow and imperfect.

The final visualisation of the exhibition could look something like the picture that follows.

Penelope Umbrico- Exhibition influence after covid virus

Penelope_Umbrico_Suns_from_Flickr
Penelope Umbrico 4,786,139 Suns from Flickr (Partial) 1/14/09 2007-2009 4″ x 6″ machine prints [detail of installation]
 

ubrico
Penelope Umbrico, Sunset Portraits from 12,213,894 Sunset Pictures on Flickr on May 2, 2013
(2010-ongoing)

http://www.fotofestiwal.com/2013/en/exhibitions/i-artist-everyone-is-an-artist/i-artist-transcendent-amateur/penelope-umbrico/