I recently made an installation that was basically like a mirror-shrine, and the whole thing was for a school art project. In the installation, I had wax candles cast in the shape of praying hands, incense, flowers, and other objects, but also a cushion in the middle of carpet with the Jungian symbol for “self,” where a person could sit and listen to a narration of Kanye’s “I Am a God.” I tried to make the shrine look as ambiguous as possible, so that it wasn’t referencing any method of worship or belief in particular. When I told my teacher about what I was planning to make, he thought that instead, the shrine should be a symbol of “narcissism in the TECH age”—or whatever—and how we’ve become “obsessed with our own image,” which is such an overdone cliché regarding young people. What I was saying was more about how every one of us has the ability/possibility/potential of being someone who gets worshiped, or an icon/idol that people look up to.
At first I went along with what my teacher steered me toward because it was a school project—and I guess I thought it had to be geared to what he wanted to see it become—but then I stuck with my vision. I really wanted it to be an installation that was so aesthetically pleasing and cool-looking that when people saw it, they wanted to take a picture of it and post it to Instagram, or somewhere else online.
Making art with the internet in mind, and exclusively for it, is a new concept, but one that I’m very excited to embrace. In this photo series, I’ve adapted my installation (some things broke after I first constructed it) to make it even more photo friendly.
Thank you to Sharon and Ella for modeling.