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Putting myself on the map

What happens if you post your work on platforms where they are not supposed to be? Artist Sarah Cissé is showing us how her pictures perform on two completely different platforms and why she started trying it in the first place.

Von Vanessa Votta

«Putting myself on the map» is Sarah Cissé’s attempt to hijack the algorithm-driven platforms for exposure. The project started with the realization that her curated photography was not reaching the audience it deserved on Instagram. Yet, mediocre pictures posted on Google Maps would attract millions of viewers.

The discrepancy of intentionality and visibility of these two virtual spaces presented her with a simple, yet original solution: co-opting platforms. Instead of tailoring photography for Instagram’s algorithms, she started spreading the very same pieces of work through her Google Maps profile. Literally and mostly figuratively putting herself on the map to ensure the circulation of her art. By showcasing her work on platforms where they are not supposed to be, Sarah Cissé intends to disturb the idea of being in the right place, art being on Instagram and pictures of pickles in burgers on Google Maps.

This loosely resonates with Mary Douglas’ definition of purity as of the state of all things being where they are supposed to be. The photographs are pieces of work that were posted both on Instagram and on Google Maps. The series was shown in February 2023 at Zentralwäscherei Zurich, for the group show «Purity – between ignorance, misrepresentation and trends», which Sarah Cissé co-curated.

A sample of 10 pieces of work was selected for photoSchweiz 2023 in Zürich. Previous work of sarah cisse includes a photo series shot for and with the Swiss feminist magazine Like A Girl around the idea of purity applied to bodies and skin.

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26. Juli 2023

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