Is It Art, Instagram, Both, Neither?
July 30 2014

Is It Art, Instagram, Both, Neither?

Los Angeles-Art

Hans Ulrich Obrist is a superstar Swiss curator for the influential Serpentine Galleries in London, and arguably one of the most important non-artists in the art world. Obrist is an investigator and instigator, a chaser of ideas, someone endlessly inquisitive about artists and art making right now. In a sense, he has established the model for what a present day curator can be. Needless to say, this is a man who travels a lot and keeps very busy.


At the urging of the breakout, Gen Y video artist Ryan Trecartin, Obrist has also become something of an avid Instagrammer (@hansulrichobrist), embracing the platform and exploring its possibilities and implications. Instead of posting pictures of his lunch like the rest of us, Obrist asks artists for short pieces of text, usually handwritten on scraps of paper, which he shoots and shares. The results are by turns inspired, cryptic, wacky, insightful, and mundane — just like the art world! It’s all in keeping with Obrist’s relentless pace and tireless exploration of culture high, low, and everywhere in between.

@hansulrichobrist Note by Ryan Trecartin

On a recent visit to LA, whilst staying at The Standard, Hollywood, Obrist hosted an Instagram Mini-Marathon (that’s every day for us!) — one of a series of public events that he conceived in 2006, bringing together artists, writers, and thinkers for in-depth conversation and exchange of ideas. Check out some of our favorite Obrist-a-grams below.

@hansulrichobrist Note by Jeff Koons

@hansulrichobrist Note by Jeff Koons

@hansulrichobrist Note by Taryn Simon

@hansulrichobrist Note by Pharrell Williams

@hansulrichobrist Note by Philippe Parreno

@hansulrichobrist Note by Gilbert & George

@hansulrichobrist. Note by John Baldessari