In our world today the digital is omnipresent. Communication seems to be at its core. But at a closer look the incessant chattiness reveals itself to be mainly self-expression, the documentation of each and every move, the desire to make an impact in a flow of constant evaluation and confirmation. The message has become the medium. Like Narcissus we stare at our own reflection but on a screen, not able to draw away from an image that we mistake for the world.
1st panel – 50×100 cms, Acrylic on canvas
The boundaries between the physical and digital have dissolved and integrated into one single realm. We have become immersed in this realm through our devices, that have come to dictate our real lives. Our gaze is drawn to the screen, the virtual image pulls us in, the world shrinks into a mere reflection that keeps us captured.
Unless the power runs out. Or the battery drains.
Mid section – 100×150 cms, Acrylic on canvas
It presents Narcissus in a melancholic state. He moons over a reflection (of himself) that he can no longer see. The river has run dry, the battery drained from his phone, hence losing the source to his identity.
3rd Panel – object, a mobile phone charger
Reflections on the narcissistic character of our times are legion. And yet, the post-modern condition seems fully materialized in our technologies. The lamenting of emptiness and self-absorption didn’t seem to have kept us from crawling eagerly further down the rabbit-hole. What choices do we have? At what cost does pulling the plug come?
The painting framed in a traditional setting addresses a contemporary phenomenon against the background of the myth of Narcissus, the hunter who was cursed to fall in love with his own reflection. Our fixation with that reflection leads ever deeper into the digital realm, like the myth’s protagonist not realizing that the unending redundancy is not an other but a loss of world.