Beyond Folklore, Olia's Chapel

The mid 90's defined the visual codes and identity of the online amateur culture, identified under the hegemony of animated GIFs, glittering, indiscriminate use of bright colors and starry night backgrounds. Emerges a culture expressed into a vacuous horror, immaterial collages where logic of navigation mattered less than navigation itself.

Today, this spontaneous expressiveness of the user has been folded under the uniformity of the "well done", corporate visual web 2.0 and the emptiness of Facebook aesthetics. The amateur style of the mid-90s was ridiculed and almost completely erased from the internet at the beginning of the millennium. In 2009 Geocities was deliberately closed and with it buried an important chapter on the history of Internet.

However, the movement of recent years seeks to vindicate the incipient web taking their discursive constructions back. Signs and symbols of online amateur culture and digital pop passed from being a reference on whats wrong in web design to invading powerfully the contemporary discourse. There is a vast iconographic repertoire and aesthetic where artists and viewers recognize themselves as part of this movement, from memes, gifs, selfie videos, pixel aesthetic, midi music, signs all these, considered tacky, cheesy or kitsch, but have established deep ties within webart and its intrinsic relationship with communication in digital culture .

What is the folklore in the digital age? How do we relate with this codes of language? Is there a native expression that makes up the universe of online culture? The artist and researcher Olia Lialina is considered as the mother of all theoretical structures related to these questions. This is her Chapel, formed by a select group of artists who developed an argued discourse about the study of the forms and the content, of what we might call the new online amateur culture, here is a statement that frames it: they are artists who go Beyond Folklore, they are The Olia´s Chapel.

Beyond Folklore, Olia's Chapel's Artists

Olia Lialina
Dragan Espenschied
Tobias Leingruber
Nick Briz
Addie Wagenknecht
Ilya Andreyev & Maria Gelman & Anton Platonov
Parker Ito
Akihiko Tanaguchi
Manuel Carvalho
Laura Hyunjhee Kim

Beyond Folklore, Olia's Chapel's Curator

Helena Acosta

Independent art curator. She studied art history at the University of Los Andes in Merida and holds a MA in Exhibition Project Management awarded by the School of Design Elisava in Barcelona, Spain. Her work as a researcher has developed in diferent countries such as Japan, Spain, Colombia and Venezuela. The lines of her work focuses on the study of new media art and photography in relation to contemporary social processes and dynamics. On 2012 she held the First Biennial Emerging Artists, The kinetic legacy at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Caracas. Her work as a curator has earned two awards from emerging curated by the Generalitat of Catalonia in Spain and the Institute of Contemporary Art Tokyo Wonder Site in Japan.