Strange Images of Return
This selection of images are stills from a short-experimental film Returning, created during my PhD candidature. The film pursues the theme of narcissism as part of modernity’s growing cultural capital. I became interested in narcissism after observing female teenagers using Facebook. They engaged in an inflated posturing of “self” through selection and labelling, while at the same time showing significant signs of insecurity.
The experimental-film tests an idea of agency—not of the user or viewer—but rather of the image being viewed. This reflects the constant relinquishing of power, from private to public, that most of us in modern societies experience through social media and online management systems. The stills suggest that perhaps our growing concern with image-ing ourselves, (or providing data), leaves traces, which constitute ghost-like avatars. What are these avatars? Strange doublings of ourselves traversing inter-connected clouds; our image but no longer our own image.
Reynolds, Julia, dir. Returning. 2013; Auckland, ZorpFilm, DVD.