The theory saying that “each of us is an artist” was developed tens of years ago. However, at that time there were much fewer cameras available to transform everyone into an “artist”, there was no Internet which provided an audience for “everyone”. And therefore today, this idea, which returned several times over the years, could have a completely different meaning. What kind of meaning? Bloggers reassure us encouragingly: “you’re an artist – create!”, “Instagram allows us all to be artists, even me” and committed intellectuals persuade: “when all people become artists acting in their own right, art becomes meaningless” and “there is a difference between creating things and creating meaningful things”.
Exhibitions and galleries more and more often show works of anonymous authors, downloaded from the Internet, and recognised artists use photographs taken by mobile phones and imitate amateur photography style. All major festivals and exhibitions refer to the concepts of mass culture, de-aesthetisation of photography and impact of the Internet.
And all of this is enough to ask the question: what is it then? Are we all artists? Where lies the difference between enthusiasts, professionals, amateurs and artists in modern photography? What does it mean to be a wedding photographer and what does it mean to be a blogger whose works are shown in galleries? How does “amateur photography” affect the world of “professional art”?
The I ARTIST block is composed of two parts. The central focus will be a group exhibition prepared by one of the most brilliant artists and curators, an observant commentator and researcher of modern visual culture – Joan Fontcuberta. The exhibition titled I ARTIST. Transcendent Amateur will include works by both recognised artists and anonymous authors from the Internet. What is the difference? For years now, Joan Fontcuberta has been asking difficult and provocative questions in his work as an artist and curator. He questions objectivity of photography, reliability of mass media, plays with patterns, stereotypes and habits. This time he confronts us with a question “What does it mean to be an artist?”.
The second part of the block is titled I ARTIST. Archives and Amateurs and includes presentations of amateur and anonymous photographs from the past, exhibitions and archives, mainly home collections.