Off my Facebook
Lismore artist Benjamin Jai has been looking at how identity is reconstructed in social networking media like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter and how digital technologies redefine how we see ourselves (and our ‘friends’).
But what does an online profile have to do with the real person? What influence does social networking media have on the way we interact with others and how we see ourselves?
In his exhibition, myFace: anti-portraiture by default, notions of identity and displacement are evoked through the ‘anti-portraiture’ of default avatars from various social networking sites. The silhouettes appear empty, surrounded or filled with patterns which have been applied with spray paint through lace-curtain fabric or licks of acrylic and oil paint. Other works feature gold leaf, bitumen, styrofoam, cardboard and charcoal.
Much in the way social networking sites are empty until people come to fill them, Benjamin’s paintings invite the viewer to reflect on their own online experiences.
portraiture by default opens at the Next Art Gallery in Magellan St, Lismore, this Friday, January 29, at 6pm. (Tell your facebook friends!)
The gallery is open Tuesdays to Sundays, 10am-4pm.
The exhibition runs till February 11.