LA (Selfie) Show 2017
Me, Myself and I, at LA Art Show
Los Angeles was just starting to glow with the encroaching night life as we rushed through the Convention Center, blindly searching for the LA Art Show (more directions please, we are simple beings). Racing against the clock, we chose to begin feasting (or violating, depending on the booth) our eyes on Yi Huwan Kwon’s elongated statues of everyday people, which demonstrate the mesmerizing power of artistic genius. Our gawking and Instagramming of these mindfucking-creations was followed by skimming of the “Pop” Art area, where Banksy copycats metastasized like a disease (Mr. Brainwash, indeed). Out of fear of losing our sense of self-worth and individuality to this uninspired contagion, we hurried to the other side of the showroom where we discovered overpriced quinoa salads.
As we paced through the clusters and rows of booths, sifting through forgettable crap and exceptional talent, we couldn’t help but notice (and occasionally participate in) the Instagram photo-ops that had infiltrated the show, such as DOSSHAUS’ walk-in painting of an artist’s studio. The installation was constructed from cardboard and painted black and white, resulting in a 2D-drawing meets 3D-sculpture effect. The amount of labor invested in this booth was astounding, even the artists—the creative collective of Zoey Taylor and David Connelly—were dressed to blend in with their piece. Unfortunately it was swarmed by guests snapping selfies without giving the installation a second of contemplation.
Was the installation’s existence intended for short attention spans with cameras, or for thoughtful interaction? An abundance of pieces in the show functioned as “cool backgrounds” for snaps that will be forgotten by next week. We soon became self-conscious of this phenomenon, and suddenly our selfies from 30 minutes ago triggered a bubbling of guilty nausea. Ten years from now, we will remember Yi Hwan Kwon’s statues, but the backgrounds of our selfies? I can hardly recall now.