THE SELF-PORTRAIT IN THE AGE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

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THE SELF-PORTRAIT IN THE AGE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

 

A Talk by Derek Conrad Murray, Associate Professor, UCSC History of Art and Visual Culture 

The photographic self-portrait, a genre that has been largely neglected within art historical study, has seen a resurgence of interest—largely due the rise of the “selfie”: self-portraits taken using smart phones or other consumer-based devices. “Selfies” have become ubiquitous visual forms that proliferate on social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, and Tumblr. Popular discourses have largely pit the selfie, which is often thought of as a symptom of a narcissistic society, against the self-portrait, which is more associated with aesthetics, form and the complex conceptual aims of art. This talk explores this contradiction in terms of the visual, rhetorical, and socio-political dimensions of self-imaging in the twenty-first century.

 

Derek Conrad Murray is an interdisciplinary theorist specializing in the history, theory and criticism of modern and contemporary art. Murray is currently Associate Professor in the History of Art and Visual Culture Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He has contributed to leading magazines and journals such as American Art, Art in America, Parachute, Art Journal, Third Text, Consumption Markets & Culture and Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art (Duke University Press), where he currently serves as Associate Editor. Murray is also currently serving on the Editorial Board of Art Journal (CAA) and the Editorial Advisory Board of Third Text. Murray is the author of Queering Post-Black Art: Artists Transforming African-American Identity After Civil Rights (I.B. Tauris, UK, 2016).

 

Co sponsored with Chicana/o Studies Department