Pics or it didn’t happen is a term from the early beginnings of consumer Internet – What started as demand for proof of any claim made online, got annexed into our daily lives on Social Media radiating through Information services in general. Does the picture replace the action in the arts? The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the process of digitalisation of social gatherings – We encountered dozens of amateureausly made online content, from workers in the cultural field, who felt the urge to state: “We are still here, we are active and alive!”. Is an action less alive, when it wasn’t documented on camera? Boroughing this nostalgic term, Pics or it didn’t happen is an extensive documentary shoot of a whole performance festival taking place at Kunstmuseum St. Gallen. A whole group of people is taping their common walk through the exhibition space. Each one is desperately trying to get the best shot, almost moving on top of each other, dashing to the first row to capture the perfect moment of a performance happening in front of them. However, none of the filmers is ever visible on each of the tapes. The performance behind the lenses remains in the hiding. The resulting films are shown in a multi-channel video installation.
Photos by Mani Froh