preraphaelitebluesUntitled (2015)

As images go, there are a number of elements that might be tweaked here.

Each of the five frames invokes a degree of something not unlike the feeling of wondering whether it’s okay to look or whether one should turn away. The second and fourth frame present a vantage that is both voyeuristic and confessional while also simultaneously neither. As such, the self-conscious posing for the sake of posing self-consciously awkwardness of the middle frame takes hold.

Small faults, really when stacked along side the precociousness of the top and bottom images–both of which I adore; but it’s really the top one (which is just alluring as fuck) that prompts me to read these images as a staggeringly astute commentary on the implications of self-portraiture.

In this The Year of Our Lord Instagram, with it’s accompanying glut of selfies, it’s difficult to untangle questions of self-definition (ridiculous as such a concept is at its root), the ontology of obsessive documentation, etc.). It’s become less about what we see in the mirror as opposed to the ways in which mirrors serve as preview windows for cyber representation.

That’s what gets me about this: the image maker is employing the camera as ersatz mirror. As if, to say this is not carefully cultivated version of me or even the me that friends and family know and love, it’s the me I carry with me everywhere and always.

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