Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Or take a selfie about it. Or… wait, what?
Welcome to 2018. And what better way to bring in the New Year than gallivanting through the halls of a shiny new museum? This isn’t just any ol’ museum, mind you. No, no. This soon-to-be Los Angeles attraction will make its debut this month as The Museum of Selfies.
That’s right, my friends. It’s a museum dedicated to the quintessential form of self-reflection and slight ego trips of the early 21st century, filled with the very latest of selfie art. And it’ll be structured to encourage each passerby to snap a pic or two of … well, naturally, yourself.
Escape room designers Tommy Honton and Tair Mamedov came up with the idea as they pondered the roots of selfie culture, asking why so many people feel the need to capture their own image again. And again. And again.
“The word ‘selfie’ alone bugs me, and I’ve always questioned the emptiness of them, but I wonder if there is a deeper way in,” Honton told the Los Angeles Times. “We can examine everything that had to converge in order for the selfie culture to arise.”
But, in truth, Honton says that there’s nothing truly new about the selfie. Sure, the word is new, and the way we capture our own images is rooted in modern technology, but the desire to capture your own image traces back pretty far. You only need to look at Rembrandt’s more than 40 self-portraits to see that.
The designer duo hopes to spark conversation and critical examination as people walk through the halls, observing the crazy attempts people have made to capture selfies (along with some of the tragic stories that resulted), as well as eyeing other manifestations of the selfie culture, including the “food selfie” and the almost too private “bathroom selfie.”
Although Honton and Mamedov have received a bit of flak from the more “serious” artists, their hope is that the museum’s patrons will leave feeling happy and like they’re a piece of something bigger; to make art accessible as “a real space where not only could people see the art but be a part of it themselves.”
Now, I love a good selfie. I’d like to blame the phenomena on my Millennial generation, but it seems that people of almost all ages are capturing the “best” version of themselves these days. My shopping adventures have been slowed countless times by the couple snapping a shot right in front of me, or the dad to the side of me, or the group of middle school girls all around me (a lesson in patience).
The selfie clearly appeals to our culture, but why? Is it our vanity? Do we just want to capture the moment? Or is it something else?
It makes me wonder how many pics Rembrandt might’ve snapped if only his iPhone was up-to-date…