We are living in the age of selfie mania. Everyone from the Pope to Obama has appeared in one. In the past, only a handful of people were able to propagate their own images, whether it was artists like Rembrandt or Van Gogh painting self-portraits or society beauties – commissioning fashionable artists to create a flattering likeness of themselves to be admired by a select few. But now, the smartphone has democratised visual self-expression. The instant transferability of photos to social media and imaging apps at our disposal allow us all to constantly ‘curate’ our look and present ourselves as we want the world to see us, recording ourselves day by day.
But what effect is this cultural addiction having on us? Do we look out at our exciting world as observers full of curiosity, or do we simply wonder how we look in it, and what filter would work best? Has the selfie reduced life to a popularity contest governed by likes, Instagram followers and Facebook friends? How do we deal with the increasing social pressure to constantly post images of an impossibly perfect self?
Huawei and the Saatchi Gallery are bringing together a panel from the worlds of cultural criticism, social media and neuroscience to discuss the impact of selfie culture from a multitude of perspectives. The event will be hosted at the Saatchi Gallery on 5th July, where the exhibition ‘From Selfie to Self-Expression’, presented by Huawei is currently on display.
Following the debate everyone will have the chance to participate in an exclusive photography experience using the awarded Huawei P10, co-engineered with Leica. Drinks and canapés will be served amid thousands of works by acclaimed artists including Tracey Emin, Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Cindy Sherman, Gavin Turk and Velázquez. Alongside them are selfies taken by celebrities and the general public, which have become icons of the digital era – from the beautiful and sublime to the mad, bad and downright dangerous.
To attend this ticketed event on 5 July at 6:30 PM at the Saatchi Gallery, simply follow this link: http://bit.ly/2rvGa2k