SELFIEka – exhibition

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The exhibition SELFIEka, curatorial project by Nadezhda Pavlova was first shown at Expo Bath Sofia, within the Month of Photography 2014.

For a second time, Roca Bulgaria was a partner in the event, organized by the Bulgarian Academy of Photography “Yanka Kyurkchieva”.
The fifth edition of Month of Photography presented a very rich exhibition program, including 43 projects of Bulgarian and foreign artists. From 6 to 18 June 2014, curatorial project of Nadezhda Pavlova named SELFIEka was shown in Expo Bath Sofia – showroom of Roca.

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About her project Nadezhda Pavlova shared:

SELFIEka is the country where people live among terabytes of images and one of their hands ends with a mobile phone having a front and back camera. In this country photographers are not required as everyone takes a photo of himself/herself with slightly pouting lips and faintly turned aside or staring at a mirror brimming with heroic machismo. And not just take photos but fill in photo diaries every day, every hour or even every minute in the virtual space. In this world people like each other by pressing a button, adjust their relationship
status and advise you to keep an eye on this space to be aware of your…

Does it sound strange to you? Yes! But does it sound familiar… ?

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When Vilem Flusser defines the photo camera as a “prosthesis”, an extension of the human eye in “Philosophy of Photography”, he had hardly assumed the level to which the technologic means of communication will also become an attachment extending the human hand, long enough to catch the body and the face it belongs to in the wide angle lens of the built in their mobile phone camera. “… the photographer is inside the device and is intertwined with it. This is a function of a new kind where man is neither the constant nor the variable but man and camera amalgamate into one. That is why it would be reasonable here to call the photographer “a functionary”. (Vilem Flusser)

In 2002 an inebriated Australian “functionary” described his experiences by publishing a self-photo of himself with the excuse: “I’m sorry about the focus but this is a selfie”. In the years to follow, this new coined word has gained incredible popularity and marked an unheard of peak in 2013. As a result, it was declared word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries. The entry of “selfie” explains “A
photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website”

And here comes the question – why?

Why does virtual space abound of self- images of millions of people in extraordinary postures and in strange places?
The advancement of technologies allows us to make attempt after attempt to reach the needed outcome with the minimum of efforts which leads to a boom in the publication of selfies. On the other hand, the character of the occasional momentary image adds plausibility to the story and persuasively introduces the personality of the author.
Philosophers often correlate personal identity with memory. It is suggested that we continue to keep the same personality as long as our memories of the past exist. But are our memories enduring and impartial when matched with our experience concentrated in a crystal ball? Can our memories be so selected as to meet the desired by us image of ourselves?

Maybe the wish to keep the memory of each our “now” underlies this phenomenal “selfie” experiment. And the fear, the fear to fall into oblivion, and not even tomorrow but today…

The project gathers spontaneous self-portraits of 68 authors, aged from 3 to 69, with different professions, coming from twelve different countries all over the world. The exposition is aiming to look beyond the technical parameters of the photos and attract the notice on selfie self-portraitings as a channel for social communication. Selfies are instruments for communication, rather than results of outrageous vanity. They are our letters towards the word we live in. They are our little diaries, that amaze, restrict, dramatize. They say:”Hey, I am here! Look at me!” Lots of people share the opinion that the selfie boom is a prove that we live in a very narcissistic epoch. But in fact, narcissism is a lonely occupation and this is a process of seeking our own virtual avatar and out way to the other people, rather than narcissism.
On contrast to the portraits, selfies do not stand with any fussy claims. They are moving in a different direction, even in lots of different directions…

Participants:
Agnieszka Kosciuszko – Poland, Adi Petrova, Alexander Donchev – Macedonia, Andi Koychev, Andrey Nedyalkov, Ani Dimova, Ani Shkodrova, Antonia Marinova, Antonio Georgiev, Atanas Kunchev,
Boris Petranov, Valery Vitanov, Vassil Pavlov, Velin petkov, Venelin Iliev, Gencho Petkov, Georgi Vchev, Georgi Georgiev, Goritsa nikolova, Daniela Alexieva, Dessislava Simeonova, Dobrin Popov, Emanuil
Treyman, Zhaklina Chorbadzhieva, Zdravka Zlateva, Ivaylo Sakelariev, Ivan Maranov, Ivan Zahariev, Ioana Dimova, Julie Thorstein – Denmark, Krassimira Serafimova, Kristina Andreeva, Lyubomir Vassilev,
Maria Angelova, Maria Dimitrova, Martin Krupev, Maya Kaloferova, Michael_Harder, Henrik Skov, Pernille Schoedt, Yuliya_Christensen- Denmark , Katherine Longly – Belgium, Nadezhda Pavlova,
Nadezhda Zhelyazkova, Neycho Todorov, Nikolay Vassilev, Nikolay Lautliev, Nemanja Jovanovic – Serbia, Pablo Avendano – Spain, Raha Moharakk – Saudi Arabia, Rada Ostreva, Roman Protsenko-
Russia, Santiago Serrano – Ecuador, Slav Nedelchev, Slavcho Slavov, Stasa Cafuta Trcek – Slovenia, Tihomir Penov, Tomas Amos Ganda Sithole – Zimbabwe, Tsvetan Tomchev, Javier Sanchez –
Mexico.

Photographer: Tsetso Mirchev

 

 

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