In the early 20th century, before photography’s truth value had been stabilised, two young girls conned a whole world of scientists with their Cottingley Fairies photos. The images were believed to be true, probably because people aimed to keep a part of the past that felt more romantic than the new modern industrialised society, but also because the medium of photography was so new in popular culture. A century later, Arvida Byström explores the Internet as a myth making machine, asking herself how new combinations of desire and an unfamiliar medium create beliefs. The myths we hold as truths today aren’t seen as myths, which is why they are hard to detect. A funny coincidence is that something called Cottagecore – a hashtag on love of fairies and past rural life – is gaining popularity online. Will humans always resort back to tales when times are unsure?
Arvida Byström (Sweden, 1991) is a digital native with an intrinsic relationship to pink. Exploring femininities and its complexities, often tied to online culture, she travels in an aesthetic universe of disobedient bodies, selfie sticks and fruits in lingerie. She is involved in many projects that reveal her real importance in today’s feminist art scene, constantly crossing the line between activism and advertising. Her photography and endless Instagram scroll have been in art shows all over the world as she starred both behind and in front of the camera of numerous influential brands and magazines. Mainly known as a photographer and model, she is also involved in music projects. She is based between Los Angeles, London and Stockholm.
From 23 September to 2 October 2022 the second edition of the PhMuseum Days photography festival will take place at DumBO space in Bologna, Italy. The event is curated and organized by PhMuseum, an incubator of photographic talents, with the aim of becoming one of the most interesting festivals on the European calendar while contributing to placing Bologna among the cities of reference for contemporary photography.
The chosen theme is Today is Yesterday’s Tomorrow, intended as an opportunity to reflect on the powerful moment of change we are living through. The event will be a playground for professionals and a moment of discovery for those who want to get closer to photography and the visual arts. The program includes individual exhibitions, a collective installation, portfolio reviews, screenings, performances and a space dedicated to independent publishing.