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Instagram has always been a sort of exhibition, albeit a virtual one. Users take pictures of themselves and just about everything else they think is interesting and, like brick-and-mortar galleries would hang photographs, users share them with their followers. As is the case with any other exhibition, the photographs can be horrifying, exhilarating, melancholic, happy, gruesome, orthodox, raunchy and conservative.
But the virtual exhibition is already colliding with a real gallery space. Instagram is hosting its first real exhibition in New York. It began on 18 September and runs through to 28 September 2014. For ten days, at no charge, anyone in New York can walk among some of the photographs that they might have seen on Instagram.
To further escape the digital presence of Instagram, during the exhibition, visitors will use a lever to manually scroll through the two-feet tall photographs. Each photo comes with a signage and descriptions similar to the app so that visitors can tell which Instagram account the photo is from.
The exhibition will be at Photoville inside a shipping container. The exhibition, titled the The Everyday Projects and Here in the World: Voices of Instagram, will decorate Brooklyn Bridge Park with a string of shipping containers and comprises a sample of different creative types that have appeared on Instagram’s blog.
Everyday Projects is the brainchild of photographer Peter DiCampo and journalist Austin Merril and was conceived while they were working in West Africa. It commenced in 2012 after DiCampo and Merril felt despondent about the usual visual narratives that get on news channels.
“Western journalists are often only sent in times of crisis, so the images from media in the news are full of despair, and perhaps they miss out on some of the beauty and the normal everyday life that happens in between,” says Pamela Chen, editorial director at Instagram.
Their instagram account @everydayafrica gained followers and became a phenomenon. Similar feeds began appearing in other countries as well. Amongst other countries, there is @everydayiran, @everydayasia, and @everydayjamaica.
Among the Instagram users featured at the exhibition is Ghananian photographer Nana Kofi Acquah who contributed photogrpahs to the Everyday Africa feed.
During the exhibition, 65 photos from 10 of those feeds will appear at Photoville.