Hans Ulrich Obrist, artistic director at The Serpentine Galleries, discusses GalleriesNow.net and NearMe:
'Exhibitions are more important than ever in the 21st century. In music, the concerts are more important than ever, specifically the live concerts. And with artists, its the exhibitions, its the experience of the exhibition. As Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster says “Art exhibitions can be these great experiences, new, unprecedented experiences".
So what I love about GalleriesNow is that it allows us to very spontaneously and all of a sudden, just check on the mobile device what exhibition is next to where one would find oneself at the give moment in time. It then becomes possible to visit an exhibition. Whether between meetings or between conversations, when actually checking one's Instagram, we can actually bring this possibility through GalleriesNow, into the real space. I love this idea and I hope its going to exist soon in every city around the world.
I think also what becomes important is the possibility of knowing what's next to you, what are the shows next to you? It is often very surprising how incredibly nearby they are - In this sense, it then becomes possible to do more on foot.
London, in particular, is a city I love walking in. London, and the idea of going on long walks. Not taking a bus, not taking a taxi, not taking the subway to go to see an exhibition but instead to go on a walk. So, for me, GalleriesNow is also a trigger for more walking. It leads us back to this idea of going on a walk or a stroll and as Lucius Burckhardt said with his ideas of “strollology”, we need more walks in cities and I think GalleriesNow invites us to do that.
As Gilbert and George say “to be with art is all we ask, to be with art is all we ask” '