I hand my subjects / participants a remote control where they take their own photograph for a fixed duration of time, they are in complete control of how they pose and present themselves. During the Covid 19 lock-down some participants have emailed me selfies that they have taken on their mobile phones to keep the project alive. I then take their selfie and manipulate it. i.e. My interpretation of filters and textures.
The selfie is a millennial social phenomenon; Once the sole domain of teenagers, it has now permeated our culture on a grand scale arguably distorting how we perceive ourselves and how we want to be perceived, as we turn the camera in on ourselves.
In essence selfies, it could be argued are a form of self-portrait and the West has a rich history in this respect. It starts with Albrecht Dürer signing his famous self-portrait age 28 in the early 1500’s. Unwittingly, (or was it? We will never know) he started an enduring cultural phenomenon that has found form in all artistic media across the globe, that of depicting your face as the place that you reside (your self). In the creation of a selfie artist and subject are fused (literally and metaphorically). We take a form that has traditions and accepted boundaries and then create many copies of our self. I wonder if these copies are a way of saying I am here. Here is my self.
When Vincent Van Gogh and Frida Kahlo painted self-portraits, it was to interpret their emotional landscape. Van Gogh even depicted his self as a chair. However, more commonly now self-portraits captured on Digital Media serves the purpose of capturing “our best life” – perfect, the ideal, no matter how far removed that image may be from reality.
The norm today is to retouch and put photos through filters and textures to make us look different or better in our own eyes. My intention was to experiment with a variety of processes and techniques to explore my interpretation of filters and textures in this respect.