Art scenesters flocked to Miami Beach this week for Art Basel, the annual contemporary art fair and glitzy global hotspot. Among the most fascinating art installations presented were Paola Pivi's life-size feathered polar bears and Fidia Falaschetti's commentary on surveillance in the social media age. But one particular Art Basel project lit up the most on Instagram.
Karl Holmqvist's Who Run This Mother? seemed to lured almost everyone (and their mother) to take a selfie and share it on Instagram. Holmqvist's white neon installation silently blares the chorus in Beyoncé's hit, "Run the World (Girls)" and... well, that's about it.The fact that photos of Who Run This Mother? blew up on Instagram is perhaps more interesting that the art installation itself. By sharing selfies placing themselves next to the neon phrase, Art Basel attendees are co-opting Holmqvist's installation to express both their self-empowerment and narcissism.
Holmqvist’s artwork wasn’t the only Art Basel installation that had gallery-goers taking selfies that used text as a phrase overlay. Colombian artist Camilo Matiz seems to have caught on to this concept of the neon-lit selfie bait. His two-way sign prompted viewers to take a self-portrait only to reveal a second dark meaning through the mirror.
Here are other Instagrams capturing the many neon signs at Art Basel.