3 - 27 March
Romford Shopping Hall
We scroll through a landscape of human billboards, algorithms dressed in costumes of flesh, life as lifestyle, and an ideology of aspirational labour. The vortex of social media is a department store: a consciously curated array of content within a fluid and manipulative architecture that operates to a pyramid scheme logic. Copy and steal, hustle and grind: it’s not work it’s your best life and it will most definitely pay off eventually. Taste is a story we tell ourselves about our relationship to objects and our relationship to other people and their relationship to objects. Collabs, spon-con, partnerships, takeovers, affiliates, brandbassadors… selling out is so last decade, welcome to the era of illusory success!
For our inaugural exhibition - Andrew Warhola* - MoMS brings together a selection of commissioned videos by nano-influencers (defined as those with between 1- 10k followers); documentation of influencers performing for their cameras in public, as captured and archived by popular Instagrammers and YouTubers; a collection of Andy Warhol-inspired clothing found on eBay and Depop (some supported by The Andy Warhol Foundation; some not), and a series of paintings of sponsored ads from the MoMS permanent collection. Together, the works and artefacts tell a story of the architecture of influence that informs our practices of consumption, relationships to brands, and concepts of celebrity.
Referred to in recent years as the ‘original influencer’, Andy Warhol once proclaimed: ‘I never think that people die. They just go to department stores’.
Andrew, there might just be some truth in that...
Featuring Pepe Jeans, Iesha Crumpton, Brillo soap pads, depop, Galison Mudpuppy, @annablackpool, Uniqlo, lyss__, Campbell's Tomato Soup, Krishanda Upton, Forever 21, @rolayojemima, ebay, Pull & Bear, @armileo03, Zazzle, Nyrah Saleem, Dafen Oil Painting Village, U2W, @influencersinthewild.
*Andrew Warhola is artist Andy Warhol's birth name.
A longer text relating to the exhibition can be read here.