Believe it or not, a new museum was open in Los Angeles in January 2018 to explore the history of the self-portrait securing plenty of special areas designed for visitors to look good when they want to take their selfies – SELFIE MUSEUM! So what is this phenomenon about?
Why was the term “selfie” Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year in 2013? And why do we upload some two million selfies each day? Are they a means of communication? With others? With ourselves? And what is a selfie in the art?
The artists involved in the “SELFIE” edition of “ARé” are and /are not making artworks inspired by selfie culture. They are toying with the idea, pointing out some necessities, digging deep. They touch on difficult subjects without shying away from their complexity. Uncomfortable topics emerge in their works, encouraging viewers to ask questions rather than simply providing them with answers.
By creating artworks, these artists make their own selfies even if sometimes using selfies of others as a means of communication. They are in fair conversations with themselves. Artfully, without prurience or judgment –they manage to confirm the fundamental acceptability of hitherto carefully guarded emotions and ideas, reveal their weaknesses in the display of their fragilities. They tell you sincerely what they have failed, what they long for. They all are in search of a good relationship with their selves. Rich with complex associations, their artworks use symbols and abstractions to represent the artists’ conceptions of themselves.
But the social object, as the artwork appears to be, starts to be more and more defined by the conversation not about but around it. With more and more digitization of our life, this conversation is everywhere: social media, mass media, and even selfies that are done as a reaction towards the work of art and as a sign of appreciation and dialogue with it.
So, should we be worried about selfie culture? Please, fear not! Just don’t lose the moment of feeling together!