Ivan da Silva
In #nextluk, Ivan Da Silva discusses the massification phenomenon of self-representation in contemporary popular culture, visible, for example, in the popularisation of the self-portraits shared on social networks. Da Silva has randomly selected a Facebook account, taking ownership of the user profile images, made exclusively of self-portraits and whose number reached the hundred at the time he completed the collection. These hundred self-portraits are the raw material of “#nextluk” that the author submits to a printing technique dating back to the early days of photography, cyanotype, depriving them of its apparent volatility of the cybernetic environment, and crystallizing them as objects of his own right. The materialization of the digital images combined with an expository device tended to scenic, reminding some of the first shows of the minimalist 60’s, results in a visual essay in which are mentioned some of the issues and concerns inherent to the unregulated dissemination, but, surprisingly, consensual private photographs. The physical confrontation with large format printing of that perspective that evaluates itself, just like a closed surveillance circuit, emphasizes the process of self-representation and its inevitable connection to the construction of self-image and of the own self. In #nextluk the standardization that regulates the gesture of self-representation is clear and amplified by repetition and by monochrome. If every decade possessed its visual codes concerning the representation of the self, Da Silva proposes that in the 21st century we represent ourselves under the sign of narcissus: each image is the result of a contemplation of the screens which bring us back our best smile. The exhibition extends beyond the physical space through a homonymous profile on Instagram, where we can view the original images. However, this reconnection to the natural ecosystem of the photographs is far from returning the real sense undermined by the reflection instigated in #nextluk. On the contrary, the narcissus perspective questions now its own relevance and with it the relevance of the daily photographic practices, and its possibilities while being a document or simply fiction.