#whoiswho is our new category on our blog. Here we would like to introduce you to active Instagrammers from the community, influencers that everyone being on Instagram on a daily basis should know. Surely one of this persons is @gert_pauly aka Anika Meier. For the monopol magazine she writes about art and social media and therefore gathers not only an incredible knowledge about the aesthetic of Instagram but also about exhibitions and artists on the platform.
Anika worked for a long time in an academic environment. She taught at university and wrote her thesis about the poet Stefan George. The today @gert_pauli lives in Hamburg but at first the Instagram fever started when she got a scholarship at German research institution in Paris. At the beginning she primarily wanted to inform those she left behind about the everyday life, but when time went on she discovered that the app helped to sharpen her eye and that she was more into photography, and the communication of social media than the scholarship.
“If I could choose again I would do something practical instead of studying arts,” she says. With her pop cultural observations she stands out of the prototype humanities scholar. “In academic circles it is more chic to cloister oneself away and to not have any time for Facebook or Twitter.” Meanwhile she writes regularly for the Monopol about the phenomenon Instagram. With her articles “Ten tips for museums on Instagram”, “Feminism 4.0” or “War with the Selfie- stick” she attracts many readers. Her contributions are profound and entertaining – Anika loves the writing and she has been part of the Instagram community for the last five years.
She established the project @thisaintartschool, by now working on it with @jorgsengers. What is the issue of this playful art school that doesn’t want to be one? Anika:” Instagram became very serious because of the professionalization of the scene. Every picture needed to get us many likes as possible. That’s not important for us. Likes. Follower numbers. It is about the fun of taking photos. Together we are looking at the work of significant photographer, and taking pictures we probably wouldn’t take normally.” The inventive arty challenges give you a chance to understand different arty perspectives: Stephen Shore, Wes Anderson, Henri Cartier-Bresso, Juergen Teller, with whom it all began.
The #juergentellerassignment focussed on common behaviour, he exactly did that. As a well-known fashion photographer and professor at the academy in Nürnberg he told his students recently: “Please take 1 photo of your house (or inside your home) 2 photos of the street where you live 2 photos of animals 1 self-portrait 1 photo of a forest 1 funny photo 2 photos of your favourite food 1 photo with another camera.” The media response was huge.
In Hamburg at the gallery Dear Photography, @gert_pauly did just curate an exhibition with photographers who happened to take photos because of Instagram. Furthermore she worked together with the C/O Berlin an exhibition house for photography. Recently matching to the Heidi-Specker-Show at the Berlinische Galerie in cooperation with This Ain’t Art School, there was an Insta Meet where she herself showed around followed by taking photos all together in Kreuzberg. Anika watched some interesting parallels: ”In the 90’s Heidi Specker did what Instagrammer are doing today. She shows us that it is not wrong to just go out and start taking photos of what comes across.”
Additional to all her projects, Anika is also carrying about her Instagram account regularly with new observations posting under her favourite hashtag “#germangemütlichkeit”. She also started to work at Sobooks a social reading platform by Sascha Lobo and Christoph Kappes. That’s where she looks after the blog and the communication of social media. An impressive career and we are curious what the future holds!