Perspectives on self-representation in our new Print on Demand

We are proud to present the book of Ana Peraica: Culture of the Selfie, Self-Representation in Contemporary Visual Culture.

Download Culture of the Selfie here.

By Bella Calabretta

Despite not defining herself as a photographer, the author was raised in a studio, in direct contact with visual practices in the pre-smartphone era. This ambience has made her reflections on self-portraits more than a mere commentary on the individualistic narcissism reinforced by the creation of a digital persona. In fact, this book looks beyond and behind the pictures to grasp a sense of reality in a constructed scenario by reflecting on perspectives, devices, subjects and intents that make self-portraits a matter of capturing the glance more than its object.

In addition to the aesthetic theorisation, Ana Peraica focuses on a study of perspectives in contemporary selfies that have gone viral. Spacing from funny memes to cases of backlashing, her critique depicts a new side on the motifs of the selfie; one that does not lay on mere judgements, but digs deeper into the psychology of the photographer. Moreover, her demonstrations of the represented challenge from within the appearance of haphazardness that characterize most selfies, by connecting the missing dots in the purposes behind a picture. The questions raised may look worrisome, or maybe just provoke a personal call to check whether our Instagram profile or camera roll is pointing at us as guilty amateur selfie-lover. Though, the guilty pleasure of taking selfies is here observed more than judged, and deconstructed more than described.

Once the spotlight has shifted onto the practice and the practitioner, the selfie becomes another instrument of declaration of the self within a reality that fascinates for its socio-historical implications. Drawing a reconstruction of artistic practices in the past as much as in the contemporaneity, Ana Peraica reaches her pivotal moment by raising a good number of questions on which reality is actually represented. As the selfie trend starts to set pace for a new understanding of blurred borders of reality, the Culture of the Selfie provokes new questions on the vague lines that shape the modern self by looking behind one’s back only when everyone else is looking at the camera.