SELFIE by Santiago Mac-Auliffe

Today we exist in a world where post-photography* replaces in a technical way the skill demanded of the photographer, attracting as a direct consequence the massification and re-conceptualisation of both the medium and the discourse that the image and the reproduction of this itself brings with it, bringing with it its own questions such as from what point to understand representation and how to think about this itself, understanding that the rise of the image and the phenomena of the viralisation of this is living a moment that is by and large unique. Thus, rather than responding to an aesthetic or philosophical movement, the aforementioned tendency of production is presented as a direct consequence of an economic system, which from the mediatisation and trivialisation of the image as a method of control and power has multiplied the cult of the image itself, surpassing the deity proper to spiritual moments of representation itself.
Thus, rather than responding to an aesthetic or philosophical movement, the aforementioned tendency of production is presented as a direct consequence of an economic system, which from the mediatisation and trivialisation of the image as a method of control and power has multiplied the cult of the image itself, surpassing the deity proper to spiritual moments of representation itself.
Then, the massive possession of the “mobile” device generates direct access to the cult of the prosumer** of visuality, detonating in technical device in question a popular function standardised against the creation of the image (both moving and still), and not only conforming to that  it provides us with the channel or support where we can distribute this material, achieving an exponential reach of visibility, which not only increases absurdly in numbers but also in territorial expansion, a faithful mimesis of the prevailing social system.

Thus technology and  production are once again inseparable when faced with the definition of what is understood by image, both on a physical and conceptual level. Let us not forget the appearance of the camera obscura or the impact produced by the moving image “cinema”, how can we forget the anecdote that occurred at the premiere of the film “The Arrival of a Train in the City” by the Lumier brothers, where people fled in terror.

Now the image is experienced EXPONENTIALLY, absorbed by the digital universe that inhabits our mobile “cellular” portals. Means of production that offer new proposals and forms such as Memes, filters, stickers, applications, should not be ignored and even less trivialised while we analyse the phenomenon in question “Representation”. Methods and new forms of imaging that intermingle with our inherited understanding of these,  understanding inscribed in our subconscious through history and biology books, television, advertising, pornography, newspapers, etc. 

Thus this new device generates its “unique” forms of production, which respond to the medium itself, one of the most common being “the SELFIE”, where the key and authenticity of this form of self-portrait lies in the fact that the gesture of the action itself is evidenced. But this gesture is unique, original, or in the same history of the matter we are describing and to which I am addressing myself, “painting”, this has already existed… Of course! one of the greatest “selfi” of the history of the image we could calmly affirm that they are  “Las Meninas” by Velazques, where we can appreciate the artist through the reflection provided by the mirror that exists behind the excuse of model that he puts to portray himself, an ingenious and clearly audacious game where he questions the idea of the represented inside the image and idea of the representativeness.

Everything tends to repeat itself, the eternal return?

All tends to repeat itself, the eternal return?

About the series of paintings  SELFIE  by Santiago Macauliffe, I will start by saying that it is the rightness of the wrongness, the exact error that tensions everything and allows from such a place to generate critical thought within the  sensitive moments that such an experience gives us. The error not as a systematic flaw of a neat and increasingly meticulous system in its hyper production of image but as a political act of questioning the image itself by adopting as an articulation of the production itself the selfi and the filters  providing a completely new universe as a point of origin  for the painting itself, the assumed distortion which intentionally provides an altered visuality, but not for that reason fictitious of the very idea of representativeness (I can’t help but think of El Greco).

Then we understand that this series is validated from the juxtaposition of classical and contemporary techniques of visuality, so technology and representational historicity, are strained  through the plastic device which within a conceptual multiplicity offers the constant, but not perishable and future idea of the portrait and its aesthetic and conceptual reformulation.

José Caerols

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