New media art exhibition

Event Details

January 13 – February 26, 2017
whiteBOX (Atelierstraße 18, D-81671 München)

Opening hours: Wednesday to Sunday, 10:00 - 18:00

Free entrance

Guided tours
Saturday and Sunday, 14:00
After Work Tour, every Thursday, 18:00


Friday, January 13th, 19:00
Introduction: Benjamin Jantzen
performance "Distorted Vanity"
by mayer+empl / Yves Peitzner / Rick Rummler / Dali Touiti

Facebook Gallery

The 'selfciety' media art exhibition shows works dedicated to the phenomenon of the so-called 'selfie'. The earliest recorded internet use of the word 'selfie' dates back to 2002 and appeared on an Australian internet forum. Since then, the selfie craze has swept the world, largely fueled by the 'always-in-my-pocket camera' in smartphones, and nowadays it is impossible to imagine social networks without them. The genre has since sprouted into numerous subcategories, such as the 'belfie' – an image of one's own bottom, or a 'nudie' – a depiction without clothes, or a 'shelfie' – a picture of a living room with a bookshelf in the background. Obviously, many people have succumbed to the urge to showcase themselves. What was once the exclusive preserve of artists – building up a community of admirers and finding self-affirmation via a self-portrait – has now been fully democratised.

'selfciety' – a word coined from the term 'selfie' and the English word 'society' – investigates the extent to which a selfie is merely a hunt for 'likes' and whether it is actually comparable (and under what circumstances) with an artistic self-portrait in the sense of an intentional showcasing of a desired and impact-laden version of oneself. Are we all digital exhibitionists in a frantic search for confirmation? To what extent does digital self-projection impinge upon human identity? How has this phenomenon changed our society? Which aspects of interpersonal communication have been usurped by the selfie, now that it has been fully unleashed on society? 

These are the questions posed by 'selfciety' – something which every visitor is capable of answering for themselves.

The new media art exhibition 'selfciety' deals with the issue of self-portrayal on social networks. Is a selfie merely a hunt for likes or is it actually comparable with an artistic self-portrait? Are we all digital exhibitionists with the sole goal of gaining recognition in the shape of likes? Does digital self-portrayal interfere with human identity, thereby changing the society in which we live?

The 'selfciety' exhibition presents artistic viewpoints on the extent to which our self-perception and self-portrayal have been influenced and transformed by the rise of digital media.

Exhibition artists: Aurélie Bayad - Regarde Moi | Manja Ebert - sleepingsquad | HOUSE OF KILLING feat. Esben Holk - be more posthuman | Ruth Hutter - Grid Girls | Gretta Louw - The Face-Swap Archive | Stephanie Maier - Tweet up your Life | mayer+empl / Yves Peitzner / Rick Rummler / Dali Touiti - Distorted Vanity | Martina Menegon - Virtual Narcissism

Curator: Benjamin Jantzen
Benjamin Jantzen lives and works in Mannheim. His art has been exhibited at numerous museums and festivals throughout Germany and Europe: Berlin, Düren, Düsseldorf, Mannheim, Bologna, Istanbul, Salzburg and Utrecht have all hosted his work. He is also the initiator and festival director of B-Seite, the Festival for Visual Arts and Contemporary Culture and of the *Zum goldenen Hirsch" festival for young filmmakers.


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