Rewind to 2007, and the year of the mirror selfie. Posing in the mirror whilst pulling a duck face was something we were all guilty of. It was the classic Myspace display pic Like4Like lifestyle.
It was this dedication to the mirror selfie, combined with Steve Jobs’ innovation, that spawned the modern day selfie. The iPhone’s front-facing camera changed the game, but we quickly learned the rules/filters and have been looking great ever since. Or, have we?
This artist is committed to challenging the selfie, making us think twice before we hold the camera up high…
‘Stefdies’ are changing people’s perceptions to the selfie. The photographic performance art series aims to chronicle life, by, er, showing death?
Confused? So are we. This description on Stefdies website may help explain: “The series provokes discussion on mortality, the function of photography, and stirs the imagination. Nothing is premeditated or prepared in these photographs, the shot is captured in the moment as it occurs.”
The artist behind the project, Stephanie Leigh Rose, elaborates on the idea, explaining:
“No special equipment, lighting, or conditions are met. I (the artist) go about my normal day, and if there happens to be a moment or a place I happen to find particularly provoking, I will take a STEFDIES photo. That is the beauty of this series, each photo is just a blip in a day. Nothing less, nothing more. It is the truest sense of what I believe photographs should be- tangible physical proof that ‘I was here’”.
Rose wants to provoke us to begin experiencing culture and life, rather than doing it all simply to show off online. Her project aims to provoke us to be more raw with the photographs we take, by removing filters, enhancements and extreme edits:
“In the current culture of selfie stick-Kardashian-YouTube-Photoshopped-mememememe sh*tshows, we have forgotten what it means to take or treasure a photograph, we live in a virtual reality obsessed culture. Nothing is what it truly is, especially in photographs. Everything is airbrushed, circle light enhanced, prop centric, and enhanced. Everything is staged. We are all merely players”.
In the process of taking the images, Rose has been kicked out of the Notre Dame and forced to delete pictures by Italian police in Rome. Not only that, but she is pretty certain that her mouth has come into contact with urine and dog poo whilst she lies face down on the floor. “As far as lying down, most of my clothes are ruined from this series, and I have lain down in dog crap more times than I care to remember,” the artist explains.
She has also nearly been trampled during marathons, after lying face down in the street mid-way through each one she completes to pose for a ‘stefdie’.
Whilst many may find Rose’s project pointless, and some tasteless after she took a ‘stefdie’ on the Golden Gate Bridge, a popular suicide spot, there is a rather heartwarming thing to come from the project: the young artist took her first ‘stefdie’ whilst on a first date, with the man that she is now engaged to!
Rose shares her quirky images with over 2,000 followers on Instagram, as well as on her website. But, the project is soon to be made into a coffee table book, so that you can ironically dress up and enhance your home with the peculiar art.
What do you think? Are you a fan of stefdies? Or, will you be sticking to the selfie? For selfie addicts, it may be the wake up call you need, a reminder that there is more to life than a photograph of your face. Or, not!
But, is there any harm to a little narcissism? Celebrities do it, animals have even started to do it, so what is the harm? This young girl certainly seems to be enjoying the selfie experience…
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