For The Time Being
For the Time Being was an experimental programme of photo-performance, conceived as a response to the everyday presence of social media. The project invited five international contemporary artists – Agil Abdullayev, Feng Mengbo, Max Grau and Tamara Kametani and the collective of creative practitioners Agorama – to reflect on the role of image sharing networks in their personal lives. Through a series of on and offline events and performances, the artists interrogated the ways in which popular apps like Snapchat, Whatsapp and Instagram have affected understandings of intimacy, digital connectedness and notions of personal and collective memory.
The project used Snapchat, an app devised to share intimate, disappearing images, as a central platform. Originally designed with unique features of instantaneity, intimacy and ephemerality, Snapchat quickly rose to cult popularity amongst a generation of millennials who used it to develop a means of communication that was playful, creative, subversive and entirely their own.
Today, the artists featured in For the Time Being use Snapchat as a medium and a tool through which they reflected on debates within contemporary social media. The programme, therefore, presented an assemblage of ideas reflecting on big issues such as internet identities, fake news and data privacy, to more personal encounters of nostalgia and memory.
In addition to the curated programme, selected writers were invited to contribute texts that extended the themes and critiques of nostalgia, memory and social media. Media theorist Katharina Niemeyer, curator Prayas Abhinav, digital curator Katrina Sluis, and the winner of our teen-writing competition were invited to contribute micro-essays which can be accessed on www.forthetimebeing.co.uk.
Curated by Rachel Chiodo, Sitara Chowfla, Hang Li, Esther Moerdler, Carlos Pinto and Caroline Rosello as part of the Curating Contemporary Art programme Graduate Projects 2019, Royal College of Art.
School of Arts & Humanities
MA Curating Contemporary Art, 2019
Esther Moerdler is a curator and art historian originally from the United States. Her research has included curating in relation to the climate crisis, the role of art in shaping public opinion and dealing with trauma and curating art in the digital age. As a student of history, art history and sociology, she studies how cultural production reflects social progression and development.
Esther’s research into curating and climate change was presented at the 'Art in the Anthropocene' conference at Trinity College Dublin in June 2019. She has also worked with a number of institutions in both the United States and United Kingdom, including Flat Time House and The Photographers’ Gallery. Her graduate project in 2019 was done in partnership with the latter and was entitled ‘For The Time Being.’
- BA Art History and History, Barnard College, New York, 2017
- 'Art in the Anthropocene', Trinity College Dublin, 2019