Is There a Queer Selfie? / Hyperallergic



CHICAGO — If the act of allowing someone else to photograph you is read as normative, the selfie in and of itself is a queer act of taking back the gaze. So is there such a thing as a queer selfie, or is the selfie inherently a queer(ed) self-portrait? To clarify, in this case I am not using queer to suggest a non-normative sexual or gender identity; rather, I am referencing the idea of a photograph that engages with power dynamics in relation to the socially networked self. The selfie is a self-reflective act, and in this sense implies a power struggle with the self. This all sounds pretty queer to me.

This week, rather than present you with a stream of five selfies like usual, I shall queer my own series a bit, presenting you with three selfies from a single artist coupled with a performative email exchange with an idea about an erotic selfie that never came to fruition. There is triumph in failure, of failed ideas such as the staged erotic selfie, which will in turn lead to better projects and performances alike. Here I present a queer performative selfie gesture that tests the power relations between writer and artist who both partake in internet-induced power play through the medium of email.

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