From Selfie to Self Expression
EXTENDED! To 6th SEPTEMBER (luckily for me)
This is a crowd pleaser- and how could it not be with the word ‘selfie’ in the title!
It begins with famous first ‘selfies’ throughout the ages – a bit of Van Gogh, bit of Rembrandt, bit of Frida Kahlo- displayed on digital screens next to mobile phones, with an option to ‘like’ the individual paintings. So I went ahead and voraciously liked every single Frida, Queen of the pre-iphone selfie. I would’ve preferred the paintings themselves, but we can’t have it all. And Saatchi makes an interesting case for the future of the art exhibition as we know it.
The giant webcam room is also a testament to the future of art and self -expression. Christopher Baker’s large scale video installation Hello World! or How I Learned to Stop Listening and Love the Noise comprises of 5000+ video diaries gathered from around the internet, showcasing the almost alarming access we all now have to a public platform – and we all feel we have something important to say.
Room after room presents selfies of all kinds: Chuck Close’s gigantic face and Nan Goldin’s intimate self portraits to lots of Kim K and some royal family lookalikes. Then out from the banality comes Juno Calypso with The Honeymoon Suite. Juno (or Joyce as she calls her on screen alter-ego) is my new-age Frida. Like Frida, she tries on identity costumes. The face is the same, but she takes on a different persona, starting with a carefully chosen location (this time it’s a pink heart shaped bath in a honeymoon hotel) slips into costume and arms herself with props. There is a deliberate lack of identity within Joyce, meaning anyone watching can watch and assimilate themselves into the hyper feminized character. She flits about in her pink babydoll, playing out different poses for the endless mirrors. An unsettling performance that reflects what the entire exhibition is about – exploring the notion of ‘the self’.
Calypso is in her 5th year of making various series with Joyce, and has said she will ‘ go on until I’m dying and asking someone to screenshot my hologram at my funeral.’
Watch the full video here