Photography. Performance. Selfie art?
A major museum exhibition is showing that there’s an art to posing for a selfie. Performing for the Camera at the Tate Modern in London has 500 photographs currently on display representing 50 artists who’ve explored the relationship between photography and performance art, whether that relationship aims to be provocative or ironic.
According to the Tate Modern website:
“From marketing and self-promotion, to the investigation of gender and identity, to experiments with the self-portrait, Performing for the Camera brings together… vintage prints, large scale works, marketing posters and artists working with Instagram. It is a wide-ranging exploration of how performance artists use photography and how photography is in itself a performance.”
Performing for the Camera features Yves Klein’s “Leap Into the Void” from the 1960’s golden age of performance art, Andy Warhol documenting Keith Haring painting Grace Jones, Cindy Sherman’s cinematic self-portraits blending the face with fiction, and Francesca Woodman’s haunting photography leading up to her suicide at age 22. You can see all these pictures below.
The most timely aspect of this exhibit is the inclusion of Spanish artist Amalia Ulman, who uses Instagram as her medium. Ulman gained artworld notoriety after pulling off a fictionalized makeover – plastic surgery and all – to become an L.A. “it-girl” in a series of Instagram selfies. It has been called the “first Instagram masterpiece,” and it’s now a rare but appropriate example of art institutions embracing social media. Our favorite piece included in Performing for the Camera has got to be Jimmy De Sana’s “Marker Cones” from 1982.
Performing for the Camera is on view at the Tate Modern in London until June 12.Yves Klein, Leap Into the Void
Andy Warhol, Grace Jones painting by Keith Haring
Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #17
Francesca Woodman, Polka Dots
Amalia Ulman, Excellences and Perfections
Jimmy De Sana, Marker Cones