Selfie exhibits and influencer visitors… The art world is undergoing a revolution on Instagram

It’s a keyword with 27 million views: #expoparis, on Tik Tok, combines the best galleries to visit in the capital, while presenting an aesthetic sense that would make any marketing agency green with envy. Pastel colours, loud music, voiceovers praising works: art galleries and museums have become favorable places to create content for social networks. A new revolution led by a new generation attracted by those wishing to live an ‘experience’, but also by cultural venues wishing to attract a new target.

For Laure Pressac, Director of Cultural Architecture at Beaux-Arts Consulting and former director of digital strategy at Center des monuments nationalaux, cultural institutions can no longer do without Tik Tok, Instagram and other Twitter: “Not having social networks, it really is a digital strategy. Part of our life! Culture is a transition, you have to think about it in this idea.”

Thus, more and more cultural spaces are equipping themselves with web and social networking specialists to find their own strategy. “In museums, there are not necessarily the skills or means to get the perfect account. My role is to guide and create a dialogue with the audience,” adds Laure-Persac.

For exhibitions, from screen to reality

The Clooney Museum (Paris V), for its reopening, split a campaign carried out by YouTubers who specialize in historical promotion including Manon Brill, from the series This is another story. A way to attract a younger audience to medieval art.

But, as Laurie Brisac explains, the influencer call is not enough: “It just doesn’t work when there’s too big a gap between the show and its communication.” » Latest Case: The Show Bob Air In the Grande Halle de la Villette (Paris 19), which caused a lot of reactions on social networks.

Large inflatable structures, a huge ball pool, pop colors and even booths where you can have your photo taken…in partnership with Balloon Museum From Rome, the place since April 14 has been transformed into a huge playing field that invites us to draw our smartphones.

The exhibition attracts audiences. Problem: Many young visitors were disappointed that the time spent on each installation is limited – about five minutes per person. Moreover, with crowds, taking the “perfect” selfie is a challenge. Even the most outraged denounced the “lies” of some influencers who praised the event.

“Art is inherently Instagrammable! »

What poses a problem for many purists in contemporary art is the immediate desire of some galleries to present themselves as an “Instagram-able” place. For several years, from Mad Dimension in Paris to the Selfies Museum in Los Angeles, via Smile Safari in Belgium, numerous museums and temporary exhibitions have focused on the possibilities of photography. For Laure Pressac, we must go beyond this observation: “I often say that art is inherently Instagrammable! But a photo will not be enough, you have to live the experiences”, develops the Director of Cultural Engineering.

In this aspect the world of culture can hope to seduce the under-25, unaccustomed to these places. Laure Persac takes the example of the latest “digital expedition” of the Arab World Institute (Paris 5) dedicated to King Khufu, which is done using a virtual reality helmet. “These are experiences that do not allow photography. The picture does not look good, you have to try it and show people that you have to attend. “.

New experiences to attract new audiences

Thus, if color fairs are in fashion, it is not for the world of culture to weed out influencers with shower water. “There is a desire to open the door for debate, and social networks are designed for that! When done well, dialogue with influencers leads to innovative formats,” notes Laure Bursac.

Recently, the Point Parole agency implemented a rather special initiative: a direct visit to Twitch of the Palace of Versailles by Stars and Squeezie, two of the youngest stars. Very good idea as the 500,000 views limit has been crossed. It was a way to “make people want and make the history of the place understandable” and to encourage the spectator of the live show to move in to discover the Hall of Mirrors in real life.

From now on, between the real and the virtual, there is only one step: and if Instagram and Tik Tok work on aesthetics, then the goal of the art world is to succeed in reaching the public. “The question is how do you reach people in the information overload environment? How do you knock on your digital door? asks the Director of Cultural Engineering.

The digital transformation of art and its venues should not stop there: NFT, VR visits, QR code scanning, immersive experiences… the possibilities are endless. Enough to breathe new life into a vulnerable sector two years after the pandemic. For Laure Pressac, “Art lets the topical subjects touch, it’s so rich. We’re in the logic of greater openness, to encourage people to come in, without distorting the works. Even if it means going through some selfies.”

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