1 Month Of Instagram Likes By Photographers & Creatives

On Thursday evening the London photography set will gather in Fitzrovia to attend an exhibition that's already ruffled a few feathers. Curated by Wandering Bears, made up of photo duo Luke & Nik (@lukeandnik) and Peter Haynes (@fadeawayfast), the show will take place in partnership with London and New York based agency Webber Represents. So why the hoohah? Well, quite simply: Instagram. Current Obsessions will be showcasing nineteen of London's most established photographers and editors whose 'likes' have been recorded for one month, printed and then displayed.
The list of contributors include photographers Ann Woo, Thomas Albdorf and Nico Krijno, as well as an impressive list of editors and curators and is an opportunity for some irresistible nosiness into the lives and influences of London's key image-makers. What's interesting is to see how each of the artists interpreted the brief. Some took a genuine approach of just things they felt the need to double-tap, and some went more controlled. One contributor decided to just like blue images. For a whole month. And for Dominic Bell, it was in phases: merely people popping bottles of Champagne, followed by people blowing bubblegum bubbles.
Refinery29's Visual Editor Anna Jay (@annarosejay) opted to 'like the rainbow', resulting in a delicious strip of candy colours (no pot of gold to be seen sadly).
The show has turned the lens on the hot-potato of photographic copyright that the age of Instagram is slowly eroding. The problematic process of a person publishing art onto a public platform has raised the 'whose photo is it anyway?' debate both on and offline. While for some of us, the idea of our 'like' history being publicly displayed in a central London gallery might cause a little heat under the collar, as a photographer working in 2015, that question is particularly poignant. Take the furore caused by artist Richard Prince's show at the Gagosian Gallery in New York earlier this year. In case you missed it, Prince took a selection of photographs from Instagram without permission and sold them for $100,000. Everything's considerably more above board at Current Obsessions; all the images exhibited are not for profit and the artists involved have contributed their own images, which will be for sale at £15 each with all proceeds going to the Light House Refugee Relief charity.
Current Obsessions is on show at Webber Gallery Space, 18 Newman St, London, W1T 1PE.
Opening: Thursday 3rd December 18:30-22:00. Exhibition continues 3rd - 18th December

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