recto/verso – issue 01 selfie

rectoverso.selfieissue 01 – selfie is online


A selfie, defined as a self taken photo shared online on social media, consists of few essential elements: the perfomative gesture of making a photo and a mise en scene (including a face expression and a pose but also the selection of a background which transmits certain accumulated information about the author). A selfie is often done with randomness because of technical limits (taken from a distance with the photographer’s arm or using a special stick attached to the camera or a smart phone). A selfie ought to present both the subject and the context, which creates major part of the selfie attractiveness’, and is possible to be understood due to our cultural knowledge and social status. Selfies taken after wake up (especially by celebrities), while sleeping (sic!) or while driving (why not both at the same time?), selfies taken in deadly dangerous places, or simply  after dressing up or with a shoes collection, selfies taken by a popular person to increase his or her popularity, selfies taken with a celebrity, in exceptional places or during significant for one events… all of these seems to be a contemporary re-appropriations of a human need to leave an evidence of his activity.

Due to the strong presence and nature of the selfie phenomenon in our contemporary visual culture, recto/verso decided to dedicate issue 01 to this question. The article Selfie(sh) or the power of the self-portrait by Giulia Bortoluzzi tries to put in relation this phenomenon with the history of the self-portrait. About how the selfie entered the art world and how the art world entered the selfie you read in Anna Tomczak’s essay Art of selfie and selfie in art. The interview with Polish artist Wojtek Puś on his artwork #selfie addresses a critical experiment with this medium. A selection done by recto/verso of the most famous and crucial photographs for selfie’s history is proposed in the form of a gif compilation. Finally, 3-Iron is suggested as the first movie in which a selfie is taken. Contributions of artists Tierney Finstar with Matthew Marble and Alessandro Quaranta are coming soon !


.Selfie(sh) or the power of the self-portrait
.Art of selfie and selfie in art
.Recto/verso in conversation  with Wojciech Puś on his recent show in Bunkier Sztuki in Cracow and his #selfie.
.Selfies compilation
.Welcome to Egypt  by Alessandro Quaranta
to listen #SELFIE by The Chainsmokers


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