Rajiv Menon Contemporary

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Exhibition by

Rajiv Menon Contemporary

July 14, 2024- July 28th, 2024

Public opening July 14, 2024 

3-7 PM

3110 W. Sunset Blvd.

Los Angeles CA 90026

Many conversations about diasporic culture start with our lack of representation. “I never saw anyone like me on TV,” has gone from insight to cliche, an entry-level access point into the realm of marginality. But the grievance still rings true and creator culture promised a solution. 

If so many of our ills were rooted in lack of visibility, then content was the cure. The word “representation,” used to have various political and aesthetic definitions; these all collapsed into a much more appealing (and more importantly, marketable) proposition.

For the South Asian diaspora, digital media and influencer culture filled a vacuum that other mediums, even while making strides, couldn’t outpace. Self-generated content in all its forms became the dominant mode of pop culture for the diaspora. This has done incredible work for the visibility of South Asian people globally, but that visibility comes with challenges.

 
 

Defined by platforms that reward replicability and targeted appeal, diasporas receive a limited framework for cultural success. Creator mediums primarily depend on advertising algorithms, and it soon becomes difficult to differentiate self-expression from salesmanship. When marketing no longer serves culture, but becomes the culture itself, relatability and familiarity become aesthetic ideals. Innovation and risk-taking fall out of favor. Cliche risks being elevated to insight.

This exhibition contends with diasporic art in an era of content, responding to a moment where influence is synonymous with sensibility. Working across genres, from pop art to more formal modes of portraiture, the artists in Like Share Subscribe speak to this climate while reimagining, questioning, and challenging its popular aesthetics. These works take on a new notion of the “popular” in popular culture, finding new forms of permanence in a landscape defined by ephemera and trends.