I seem to have managed to get myself onto several mailing lists for indie galleries in London, and so, along with a hoard of unwanted press releases about unknown (to me) artists, I get invites to the opening nights of different exhibitions.
Inspired by Samantha from Sex and the City, who goes to gallery openings for the canapes, champagne and potential for men, I wandered along to an opening last week of photos taken with the iPhone Hipstamatic app. I’d written about it for Le Cool, and pitched it to the Guardian, so I felt I could justify it as ‘work’.
The thing I’d forgotten about these kinds of events, from past experience, is that if you don’t actually know anyone there, it’s pretty hard to spin out the time it takes you to drink your free drink while looking at the exhibition.
In this instance, there were 157 photographs, arranged around the room. I introduced myself to the PR woman and to the guy who’s idea it was. I tried to start a couple of conversations with other people looking at the pictures, about the pictures themselves – ‘what’s your favourite?’ for example. Or ‘are you one of the photographers?’ None of these conversations flew, but this is a vast improvement for me from walking in, grabbing a drink, looking round and then leaving.
As ever, in awkward social situations with people you don’t know, especially cool people in skinny jeans, odd glasses and vintage oversized Harris tweed jackets, the mobile phone is salvation in your pocket. I used mine to take a couple of Hipstamatic pics of hipsters looking at Hipstamatic pics…
And then again to take a photo of the feature in print in yesterday’s paper.