My two self-portrait collages are meant to comment on the concept of identity and the dichotomy that often exists between our online personae and our real selves.
My first collage is a depiction of my online self as I am perceived both through the eyes of other users and through the eyes of algorithms. I used photo of myself taken for an online fashion editorial to represent my presence online. I photoshopped a Dior saddle bag over my shoulder both in homage to Dior’s marketing of this bag exclusively through models’ instagrams and as a commentary on the trend-culture of flashing wealth on Instagram. I placed myself in a Disney backdrop as a metaphor for the way the internet lures people into the idea of fantastical realm of endless exploration, when in reality even the most seemingly harmless websites are spying on you – like the butterflies in my collage, who are reading my browsing history and generating targeted advertisements.
My second collage is less direct in its depiction. I have gone through many phases in my life and I consider myself a summation of how I have experienced life differently through each of them. I knew I wanted to find a way to express this somehow in my second collage from the get-go. It was in looking through old childhood photos that I came across one of my class portraits from French school and had the idea to use my posed school-portraits to highlight the ways in which I have changed with a constant frame. Unlike my first collage, my networked self, this collage tells its story through its content. It loses the fancy tricks, the excessive editing, posing – all reminiscent of instagram – and instead let’s the class photos convey an undistracted system of growth, change and becoming.