While Social Media and the effects of the pandemic have changed the way we portray ourselves to the rest of the world, our presence online and offline has been unbalanced. This has caused an increase in the use of our online personas to remain in touch with the rest during a time when our physical selves were not allowed to socialise in the offline world.
Issues of identity form a significant part of our existence. The increasing use of the online to project ourselves makes it clear that portraiture and self-portraiture have become a tool to render our identity. Playing an important role in our consciousness, Generation Z (born 1997-2012) and the whole Generation Alpha (early 2010 - the mid-2020s) are the first people in human history to have full awareness of their image and own portrayal since a very young age. In this sense, practices of selection, curation, manipulation, and editing of images meant to depict oneself or another, have turned into common practices. Having an impact on both the physical and the online presence of a subject that exists at the same time in both worlds.
Questions of power and agency in their role with identity come to mind when thinking in these terms. This dual presence is just an extension of the same self, altered by the two worlds that shape identity through their own social dynamics of acceptance.
By entering the show, you will encounter an endless scroll composed of more than 2000 images - all coming from the PhMuseum 2021 Mobile Photography Prize - arranged by an algorithm which creates arbitrarily associations. With this intervention, the show Presence challenges the traditional understanding of a portrait and examines its concern with the human presence in its wider sense and how it´s rendered into reality; whether that is online or offline.
This show accompanies the one that has inaugurated on 24 March at PhMuseum Lab
, our headquarters in Bologna, Italy and it is part of a yearly project that started with the open call and ended in a limited edition publication curated by Jason Fulford, available here