Visual rhetoric in a post-feminist era.
The use of selfies on the internet as an answer to the exploitation, sexualisation en objectification of the female body in today's consumer society manifests itself as a new tendency within (post-)feminism. This tendency is situated mainly on the internet and floods social media and blogs with snapshots of self aware teenagers in provocative poses and/or with eccentric looks. However, there is a thin line between the random selfie and the selfie as an activist tool for a feminist discourse, which has caused a lot of criticism and rejection from within the movement itself. Artists such as Katie Cercone, Amalia Ulman, Juno Calypso and Ann Hirsh make the distinction between cheap selfies and the intentional politicized self-recording in an artistic oeuvre. They portray their bodies as a post-political and visual strategy in favor of a turn in the visual rhetoric of the (objectified) female body. By filming themselves as self-aware individuals, the post-feminist artists try to unbalance the male gaze, which still dominates popular culture, but also the art world. By taking on sexual poses in the selfies that they put online, these artists shake up the complex relationship between viewer, director or artist and the subject of the film or photo.
In The Perverts Guide to Ideology (2012) Slavoj Zizek argues that an individual doesn't just fantacize about an environment where he/she gets everything they desire. In the selfie-imperium, one creates an environment in which people hunger for themselves. Different voices however, both conservative and progressive, blame the selfie-activist for taking on a cheap and narcissistic perspective, that doesn't undermine the unequality and gender problems in capitalism, but actually confirms them. The programme 'Selfieland' presents 'food for thought' and lets the viewer get a taste of a new sort of feminism that is currently under discussion.
Video screening with works by Katie Cercone (US), Juno Calypso (GB), Arvida Byström & Maja Malou Lyses (SE), Casey Jane Ellison (US) and more.