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EIKON #87

Defined as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media” (Oxford English Dictionary), the “selfie” has become an indestructible part of today’s common (anti-)culture. Characteristic features are a usually amateurish composition, an unfavorable angle for the shot and ineffective lighting, which means that it contradicts practically all the criteria for professional photographic portraits; it’s not surprising that most of the protagonists are teenagers, who just make a quick snap of themselves in the bath, in their room or in a dressing room.

But to conclude from this that selfies are a totally insignificant pastime for growing youngsters might well be to judge too quickly, for, in particular, the way young women, who produce the majority of such images, present themselves to the camera and thus to the world in general should make one stop and think: is the purpose of the lascivious, almost unclothed pose to confirm one’s sense that one is attractive within one’s sexual identity? Or is it not rather the case that these stereotypes demonstrate how much the point of view is determined by male ways of seeing—and that the female is objectivized in this way?

A reason to have a close look at the self-representation of women, specifically artists, in historical terms: Felicitas Thun-Hohenstein, the curator of Sphären des feministischen Selbst: Selbstportrait—Selbstdarstellung—Selbstauslöser (spheres of the feminist self: self-portrait—self-presentation—self-timer) and therefore the “focus” of this edition, examines in an interview with Abigail Solomon-Godeau the visual language of feminism, from the representation of the “New Woman” to the presentation of the female subject in art. Especially the invention of the self-timer seems to have given artists the chance for new forms of interaction with the self, as two current exhibitions in the ACFNY and the MdM Salzburg illustrate.

Innumerable “selfie-girls”, on the other hand, are really behaving in anti-feminist ways. And yet they seem always to value the display of the construction with the camera; arms lengthened by the perspective and mirrored cameras in the frame of the image let one suspect that most of it is sheer masquerade.

An entertaining time is the wish of your EIKON team with

Nela Eggenberger

 

Aktuelle Projekte / Current projects:

BEZUGSRAHMEN

05.09.–05.11.2014

EIKON Schaufenster

MQ quartier21/Electric Avenue

1070 Wien, Museumsplatz 1

 

UNFRAMED

09.–19.09.2014

Galerie Raum mit Licht

1070 Wien, Kaiserstraße 32

 

GRENZGÄNGER

11.10.–08.11.2014

Galerie Loris

10785 Berlin, Potsdamer Straße 65

EIKON-Messeauftritte

 

EIKON will be present at the following art fairs:

art berlin contemporary

(18.–21.09.2014)

VIENNAFAIR

(02.–05.10.2014)