February 14, 2014

Gallery: Gal

It was love at first sight: Gal space.

Here at The Le Sigh, we love two things:
girls and rad art.

Although we usually feature URL manifestations of the two, we wanted to bring you something special for this Valentine’s Day. The IRL! More specifically, Gal space.

An intimate gallery that showcases pieces from all across the Internet, Gal combines the everyday beauty of the user-submitted selfie with the Internet queenliness of artist Arvida Bystrom. Started by Arvida and Hanna Antonsson, Gal is a self-proclaimed “pink floored gallery space in space” according to its dreamy tumblr. Although its presence is still quite mysterious on the internet, it exists. Ads for the monthly gallery specials litter social media platforms against their gradient-heavy posters. The most recent event, which occurred in December, probably created the most waves in its URL community. Collaborating with Charlotte Cullen on her project Intimates’ index, Gal asked its followers to send in used panties in the name of art. While the specific panties, sent in from all over the world, exist in their very “possibilities of anonymity” and “treasure of malleability,” the whole idea wanted to ask the question of how we can “reclaim the ownership over own objects” separate from consumerism, objectification, and fetishization. The panties removed from their contexts did just that. Unorthodox tactics, URL participation and huge themes were perfect for a physical tactile space. 

The other exhibit that infiltrated the web was the October event “Excerpts from a Selfie Generation,” a collab with Vanessa Omoregie’s Internet supersite CamGirls Project. Calling out the signature body extension of “the young woman photographing herself using her phone at arm’s length,” the exhibit showcased chosen user-submitted selfies and work from Omoregie’s art history project. The juxtaposition and similarities of art history’s male-centered idealization of naked females being subverted around real females currently practicing the same idea with their own selfies is genius. It’s very important to see the young-girl selfie as having cultural celebrated precedents, as being a relevant demonstration of timeless concepts; this exhibit really accomplished this feat through its collaboration and original content.

Two other exhibits hosted at Gal space similarly captured the cultural exchange between the URL and IRL. September exhibit “Perma,” inspired by the theme of “synthetic authenticity” and the intersection of nature and technology, dealt directly with the facets of art that the Internet indirectly deals with yet cannot materialize. “Animal Memes,” the August exhibit, when advertised, proclaimed that the collaborator Ryan Humphries is a “well reblogged favorite.” The idea of reblogs translating into a celebration of his work in a public place is beautiful. Aren’t real world implications of Internet art something else entirely to be celebrated? Gal Space is making me ask myself questions like this.

Gal is so intriguing because it’s doing what it’s made for right. It tackles how perplexing the division between the physical and internet space is, and it surmises that maybe the two can coexist in some capacity. Plus, it features girls who make rad art. URL and IRL, Gal Space is truly our Valentine this year.

Learn more about Gal on Tumblr.

Ritu Ghiya, a NYU "bb", is extremely passionate about surrealist literature, technology and experimental R+B. Her dream is to become the perfect blend of Solange and MIA on her existential journey to read more and blog more.