Leroy Brothers: Portraitures of Accidental Human Relationships

2012.09.07 - 10.05.


The exhibition is a realization of an internet project initiated in 2010 by the Leroy Brothers, who have been working together as an art group for a decade. The project entitled BDRtist maps out – and places in a contemporary art context – image and information sharing habits within social media. Following a free registration on the project website (www.leroybrothers.com), or as members of popular community portals, anyone can upload images and texts. The submitted images and texts can be voted on by other users. Based on their evaluation (like-dislike), two images and a text are selected every 100 hours, which will then be realized as artworks (prints or paintings). The aim of the Leroy Brothers is to give anyone in the world a chance to participate using his or her image and name in their project, and, thus, influence their artistic activity and the content of their exhibitions.

The works of the Leroy Brothers, as a result of the system they have built, are connected not to individual people, but to user communities; the artist group can only determine the medium of and circumstances of presentation. The latter are for the most part installations that, in referring to the spirit of the project, delineate in real, physical space the phenomena of virtual space and the processes that take place inside them.  

The exhibition entitled Portraitures of Accidental Human Relationships offers insight into the various phases of artworks production within the BDRtist project: from the website (which serves as the point of departure) to the artworks realized through various media. One of the exhibited installations will also feature images and texts uploaded by Hungarian users of the project. A separate exhibition room is dedicated to artworks that were realized based on the images and texts of Maria Elena Udali, one of the most active users (according to the total ranking presently at second place). In accordance with the democratic spirit and title (BDRtist = Be the artist!) of the project, this time a user – who, thanks to her active presence and the community that has voted for her uploaded material, is a frequent participant in the Leroys’ work – becomes the centre of focus as an artist personality.        

Social media have an increasing impact on people’s interaction with each other and with the world. Today, community websites like Twitter, Google+ and Facebook fundamentally influence how we obtain our information, conduct our business, forge relationships and build our careers. It is to this fact that the Leroy Brothers draw attention with the title of the exhibition. Their concept, founded on the relationship between popular culture and high art, first and foremost asks the question: what are the consequences of the gradual transformation of mass media into social media in terms of art?