Artist Paolo Cirio has been featured on Imperica before. His latest project takes the product placement from influencer marketing and puts it in its rightful, and legal, place: on real advertising space.
Cirio puts it more succinctly: to "return subtle online advertising to its detectable form".
There is some curation to the posts. They are taken from Instagram posts reported to Influencers Watch, a site where people can report deceptive or uncommunicated product placement or ads as part of an influencer's social media feed.
Here's how Paolo describes it.
The future battlefield of advertising is its disappearance in everyday life — becoming invisible and yet being highly effective.Paolo Cirio
This series of photographs, appropriated from celebrities as well as micro-influencers, functions as evidence of deceptive advertising and illustrates the visual devices utilized to allure attention.
The analysis of photographic language is used to point toward the legal, ethical, and economic nature of the online influencers to discuss the pervasiveness of the attention economy.
What is notable about this work is not that Paolo is eschewing advertising but instead saying that Instagram advertising has its own language, a performative one using the hyperreal image of the Instagram influencer.
The project is produced with Maastricht University and is being exhibited at NOME in Berlin's own hipsterzentrum, Kreuzberg, as part of a major exhibition by Paolo entitled Images Rights.