This is the start of a new project, I’m in the middle of experimenting with the images and at the moment, they are just ideas and are not final images;
Further developing my exploration on dementia, memory, self and identity, my intention for this body of work is to further explore the self and perception – who you are, who are you? Framing personal identity in the context of perfectionism and norm, I want to explore the concept such as ‘Is ‘who I am’ only validated by approval from my peers and contemporaries. ‘Do I need to distort and manipulate my image in order to gain approval’? And does the individual start to lose their true identity by constantly presenting a “false self”?
The selfie is a millennial social phenomenon; once the sole domain of teenagers has now permeated our culture on a grand scale distorting how we perceive ourselves and how we want to be perceived, as more of us turn the camera in on ourselves. It’s undeniable that the selfie provides people with a sense of validation and connectedness when they see their friends pop up on their social media accounts and then there’s the great rush, the boost of dopamine we receive when someone ‘likes’ our photo. A Swansea University study says that selfies fuel narcissism, a sense of entitlement and the need for admiration1. The selfie has also been described as a desperate form of exhibitionism2.
In its essence the selfie can be viewed as another form of self portrait and the West has a rich history of self-portraits, starting when Albrecht Dürer signed his signature on his famous self-portrait age 28 in the early 1500’s he unwittingly started the enduring and perpetual cultural phenomenon that transmutes across several mediums from canvas to film to digital media and now encompasses the globe. When Vincent Van Gogh and Frida Kahlo painted self-portraits, it was to interpret their emotional pain; however more commonly now self-portraits captured on Digital Media serves the purpose of capturing “our best life” – perfectionism, the ideal, no matter how far removed that image may be from reality.