This is what happens when one listens to "#SELFIE" by the Chainsmokers on the walk home from a visit to the Louvre:
I wanted to make a playful video that brought the Louvre's self-portraits to life, surrounded by visitors creating their own self-portraits: selfies.
So, one Friday night, I went to the Louvre armed with a map where I had pinpointed all the self-portraits I had found on the museum's database. This scavenger hunt led me up and down the numerous wings and levels of the museum. Focusing solely on self-portaits was an interesting exercise that led me to reflect on what these artists were trying to convey about themselves.
What is one take away from self-portraits as diverse as these?
And what to make of all the selfies that take place in museums, in front of the artworks? I am torn. On the one hand, it is impossibly annoying to witness museum visitors take a selfie in front of an artwork without even looking at the object in front of them. While fllming the footage of people taking selfies in front of the Mona Lisa for my video, I saw countless people wait in the crowd for their chance to get close to the famous painting, take a selfie and then hurry off. What a waste! On the other hand, selfies are so much fun! I would be lying if I didn't admit to enjoying interacting with artworks or copying the poses in front of a camera (case in point: my bio on this blog).
Whether selfies are deemed self-indulgent or self-expression, my trip through the Louvre's collection of self-portraits assured me that the phenomenon is anything but new.
Address: Palais du Louvre 75001 Paris ∣ Métro: Palais-Royal Musée du Louvre (line 1 or 7) ∣ Opening hours: Wednesday to Monday from 9am to 6pm, open until 9:45pm on Wednesday and Friday