Rankin Is Sick Of Selfies; It’s Time To Take Back #SelfieControl
Grow Talk by Sofy Robertson
Photos provided by Rankin Photography
Selfies. It’s a phenomenon I have never quite understood, partly because I lack the patience to snap endlessly in pursuit of the ‘perfect selfie’ and partly because I would rather look at pictures of food or cats than my own mugshots. As with all popular phenomenon, it is inevitable that their light will start to dim, but nothing like that seems likely on the social media horizon and it has prompted the highly acclaimed British photographer, Rankin, to embark on a further selfie-targeted project after the widespread success of Selfie Harm. The statement? Rankin is Sick of Selfies.
In a bid to counteract the wildly popular trend, Rankin is offering a unique opportunity for anyone to collaborate with him on creating a self-portrait. Speaking about his previous project, Selfie Harm, where he highlighted the dangers of readily available photo editing apps, Rankin said:
“Selfies are less about showing who you really are and more about which celebrity you want to look like. It’s the exact opposite of what self-portraits were supposed to be. Rembrandt would be turning in his grave!”
Rankin aims to turn all of that around in his latest project and create selfies with self-expression through collaborating with members of the public. Speaking about the project, Rankin’s agency says:
“Do you ever get the feeling that scrolling through social media is like Groundhog Day? Same selfies. Different day.”
When I think about my own social media experience, I can’t help but think Rankin has a point. I have tailored my Instagram feed to follow those who love posting about food and, well, cats… thus I barely have to suffer through any selfie scrolling.
Rankin is Sick of Selfies aims to disrupt the “selfie culture [that] has pervaded our screens and lives” and through doing this has “suffocated a unique form of artistic expression; the self-portrait.” With an open call for collaboration, the photographer is continuing to push towards an open dialogue on selfies and aims to direct the often vacuous practice back towards its roots of artistic self-expression.
The open call from Rankin’s agency explains:
“Rankin is opening up his lens and giving you the chance to create portraits with him. He’s calling all creative thinkers to send in self-portrait ideas. The best will be selected to bring them to life.”
Rankin is Sick of Selfies promises to be a vibrant movement, not only for the art community but for the wider spectrum of social media and self-expression. The hashtag for the project, #selfiecontrol, nods to taking back the ownership of selfies and the desire to give meaning to, in the words of Fight Club, a practice that has become “a copy of a copy of a copy”.
“So, let’s take back control with concepts that are fresh, original and show a part of yourself that you don’t ever show on social media.”
If, like Rankin, you are sick of selfies and are interested in getting involved, you can write or draw your ideas and email them to Jordan at selfiecontrol@rankin. co.uk or direct message @rankinarchive using the hashtag #selfiecontrol. In Rankin’s words:
“Let’s get back to making things a bit more meaningful.”