'On Edge' Exhibition, Edinburgh College of Art

Come Take A Selfie, 2019, Performance and Installation

Come Take A Selfie is a performance that comments on women's use of social media to regain autonomy over their bodies and sexuality and how this type of expression could be construed to be merely narcissistic and commoditising feminism. 

Gabriela Grant artwork

 © 2022 Gabriela Grant Artwork

‘Come Take A Selfie’ is a performance piece which aims to question the narcissism of selfie taking that lie within the Instagram Feminist Art Movement (IFAM). (A definition of this movement can be found here)

For the performance I asked members of the audience to take a selfie with me, encouraging them to grab a prop from the ones provided and strike their most empowering pose. The selfies were taken by another randomly selected member of the audience on a polaroid camera. The participants were then encouraged to take their selfie home and post it on Instagram. The idea was that my selfies, once posted on Instagram, would become indirectly part of the IFAM, using Instagram as a performance space. 

My performance was streamed live to Instagram inspired by Arvida Byström’s live Instagram performance where she did a modern take on Carolee Schneemnas performance ‘Interior Scroll’. Unfortunately this footage was deleted along with my Instagram account for 'breaching Instagram’s community guidelines'. 

My performance also focused on the idea of taking a selfie because you like the look of something rather than actually knowing the meaning behind it, such as people posing by the Berlin Wall. Selfie culture has become such an ingrained part of our lives that museums have been created solely for the purpose of selfie taking. Has feminism just become a backdrop for our selfies?

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