@hansulrichobrist Uses Instagram to Save an Endangered Art from Extinction
To see more photos that celebrate handwriting, follow @hansulrichobrist on Instagram.
Hans Ulrich Obrist (@hansulrichobrist), a curator and co-director of the Serpentine Galleries (@serpentineuk) in London, began his handwriting on a stormy winter day in Brittany, France, with a poem written by Etel Adnan on a small napkin. “I suddenly realized what we risk to lose should handwriting ever disappear,” he says. “I felt an urge to post an image of Etel’s handwriting. It was the beginning of 700 posts from artists, architects, technologists, scientists, filmmakers and poets. I have a feeling it has only just begun.”
Hans Ulrich is also leading the creation of unique projects for the Serpentine’s Instagram. Each month, they are offering creative direction to a different artist. “This month it is the artist Cerith Wyn Evans who we are exhibiting at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery,” he says. “Next month, it will be Gustav Metzger.”
These innovations are part of a larger movement of members of the art world experimenting creatively on Instagram. “The Korean artist and great pioneer of new media Nam June Paik told me a long time ago that there is often a delay between an invention of a new technology, and its use by artists,” Hans Ulrich says. “He started to make art with television years after television was invented. He could only make art with it once it was like a pencil. We can see a similar thing now with the Internet, it’s only a few years after the invention of Instagram that more and more artists make art with it. Frances Stark (@therealstarkiller) is a great example, for not only does she make art on Instagram, but brings her Instagram project into her analogue exhibitions.”