If you are not into selfies yourself, you can’t help but notice the rampant trend of taking selfies anywhere, anytime, whether it is appropriate or not. Museums, Art Galleries, and art spaces are particularly enticing attractions for the selfie possessed.
Today’s artists are taking this phenomenon into consideration when creating new work.“Kara Walker Knew People Would Take Dumb Selfies…” when she created a poignant piece at the Domino Sugar Factory in the neighborhood of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, N.Y. just months before it was to be demolished and replaced with luxury condos.
Museums are getting into the act too, but not without controversy. In an attempt to engage the viewer, the The Museum of Fine Arts Boston, came up with the idea of Kimono Wednesdays, with it’s hashtag “#mfaBoston!” . Every Wednesday, viewers were invited to try on a Kimono and pose for selfies in front of Monet’s “La Japonaise”. Protests of Orientalism and hashtags like #whitesupremacykills, brought the event to a halt.
Taking all of this into consideration, curator Lisa Rockford, invited 16 artists to create new works or modify existing works, specifically for an interactive exhibit, appropriately titled “POSSESSED”. Viewers are invited to take a selfie, attach a hashtag, and send it out into the world.
Artist Carl Pascuzzi’s large scale photomontage accommodates the selfie possessed, with a fan for special wind effects and a selfie stick to get just the right angle. His piece with the hashtag #selfievortex was created from selfies he found while sourcing instagram hashtags like #selfiemiami.
Ryan Farrell’s installation “Crash Masks” is a series of transformer looking masks, made from metal bits and pieces. Suspended in a circle from the rafters of the oversized warehouse. They sway eerily in the still summer heat, only to come alive when the viewer approaches to insert themselves for a selfie.
Miami Artist Randy Burman created four, carnival, funny standees, with a sociopolitical commentary. In a nod to Martha Rosler’s “Bringing the War Home: House Beautiful” series, Burman invites the selfie possessed, to stick their head through a hole of his life size cut outs, for a photo op. Are the posers oblivious to the reality of the tragic events superimposed behind them?
“Mink Hole”created by Artist Josseph Herring is a time-abutment tunnel leading into either, as the text reads: “a magazine publishing house of repurposed periodicals”, or a “housing subunit at a boarding school for pubescent adolescent mammals of the Mustelidae family” . Viewers are encouraged to costume themselves as “highly evolved, genetically enhanced weasels of the future” and enter the Mink Hole to participate in this constantly evolving installation.
X marks the perfect spot for a selfie with “Anthropocenic Shaman” by Joshua Hunter Davis or Cara McKinley’s “Selfie hut