“In deciding how a picture should look, in preferring one exposure to another, photographers are always imposing standards on their subjects,” wrote Susan Sontag in On Photography. “Although there is a sense in which the camera does indeed capture reality, not just interpret it, photographs are as much an interpretation of the world as paintings and drawings are.” But what about when the subject is the photographer, with his or her face jutting into the frame alongside a painting, drawing, or other work of art? Then you’ve entered the meta-interpretative world of the #artselfie. The keen cultural observers over at DIS Magazine peg the birth of this self-portrait-with-artwork phenomenon, now ubiquitous at most any museum or gallery exhibition, to 2012, “right as the recent photographic phenomenon known as the selfie reached its tipping point.” Having seized upon the #artselfie as an “aggregated mode of art-tourism and documentation” with a dedicated Tumblr, DIS teamed with Mathieu Cénac and David Desrimais‘s Jean Boîte éditions to publish a book full of them. Recently feted at Galerie Yvon Lambert in Paris, the volume includes an introduction by Douglas Coupland and a discussion between Swiss Institute director Simon Castets and DIS. Order a copy here and then take a photo of yourself reading it for an #artselfieselfie.
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