Friday, March 7, 2014

Quote of the Day (Jerry Saltz, on the Selfie as Folk Art)

“When it is not just PR, though, it is a powerful, instantaneous ironic interaction that has intensity, intimacy, and strangeness. In some way, selfies reach back to the Greek theatrical idea of methexis—a group sharing wherein the speaker addresses the audience directly, much like when comic actors look at the TV camera and make a face. Finally, fascinatingly, the genre wasn’t created by artists. Selfies come from all of us; they are a folk art that is already expanding the language and lexicon of photography. Selfies are a photography of modern life—not that academics or curators are paying much attention to them. They will, though: In a hundred years, the mass of selfies will be an incredible record of the fine details of everyday life. Imagine what we could see if we had millions of these from the streets of imperial Rome.”— Jerry Saltz, “Art at Arm’s Length: A History of the Selfie,” New York Magazine, February 3, 2014

The image accompanying this post, of course, was the selfie taken Sunday night at the Oscars, by host Ellen DeGeneres--or, as I like to think of it, "The Selfie Seen 'Round the World."

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