The Perfect Selfie
In November 2017, I broke a mirror and glued almost all of the pieces back together. I left a hole in the middle. I asked random people to take a “selfie” in front of the mirror (a facelesss selfie) with a smartphone and then e-mail it to me. With this installation, I make a sarcastic comment on the modern trend of selfies and the way they tend to define our attitude, appearance, status, popularity, idea of beauty, identity…
According to Lacan, mirrors are metaphors for the Western concept of the “self”.
Lacan’s mirror stage establishes the ego as fundamentally dependent upon external
objects, on the other. As the so-called “individual” matures and enters into social relations through language, this “other” will be elaborated within social and linguistic frameworks that will give each subject’s personality (and other psychic disturbances) its particular characteristics.
Media scholar Aaron Hess points out that the popular dismissal of selfies, as merely an expression of narcissism in a self-obsessed culture, does not acknowledge the multiple ways in which the practice of selfie taking and their online dissemination engages with various aspects of living in a networked society. Selfies do not only mediate issues related to body and personality, but they also show a negotiation of the relationship between body (of the user) and machine (the device used to take the selfie), as well as the connection between network and materiality.
So, what happens when-what we see in front of the mirror is a faceless body? Is the identity missing or is it given a new meaning?
The installation “Perfect Selfie” was presented in a group exhibition in HOOP , in The Hague (NL, 2018).