Saatchi Gallery announce worlds first exhibition exploring the history of the selfie.

Cindy Sherman Untitled Film Still #21 1977 Gelatin silver print 20.3 x 25.4 cm Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures,
Cindy Sherman Untitled Film Still #21 1977 Gelatin silver print 20.3 x 25.4 cm
Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures,

Saatchi Gallery and Huawei, the world’s number three smartphone brand, announce they have teamed up to present From Selfie to Self-Expression. Opening at the Saatchi Gallery on 31st March 2017, the show will be the world’s first exhibition exploring the history of the selfie from the old masters to the present day, and will celebrate the truly creative potential of a form of expression often derided for its inanity.

The show will also highlight the emerging role of the smartphone as an artistic medium for self-expression through the commissioning ten exciting Young British Photographers to create new works using Huawei’s newest dual lens smartphones co-engineered with Leica, as part of their artistic practice. Reprising the spirit and energy of the Young British Artist movement first launched 25 years ago; the works of these Young British Photographers will go on display in a gallery dedicated to world-class smartphone photography. In this gallery the focus will shift from Selfie to documenting the world around us as a contrasting form of Self-Expression.

From Selfie to Self-Expression will showcase key artworks, many of which feature interactive, digital and user-generated content, by artists as diverse as Kutlu Ataman, Christopher Baker, Juno Calypso, Tracey Emin, Van Gogh, Mohau Modisakeng, Rembrandt, Cindy Sherman, Gavin Turk and Velazquez.

Showing alongside examples of many influential artists’ work will be selfies that have quickly become icons of the digital era – from the beautiful and sublime to the mad, bad and downright dangerous.

Huawei’s partnership with the Saatchi Gallery is a demonstration of its commitment to growing its brand presence in the UK and support of creative expression through photography everywhere. It follows the launch last year of the game-changing Huawei P Series smartphones which reinvented smartphone photography with the world’s first dual-lens camera co-engineered with iconic camera brand Leica.

Nigel Hurst, CEO Saatchi Gallery

“In many ways, the selfie represents the epitome of contemporary culture’s transition into a highly digitalised and technologically advanced age as mobile phone technology has caught up with the camera. We are thrilled to be collaborating with Huawei on From Selfie to Self-Expression. The exhibition will present a compelling insight into the history and creative potential of the selfie, while the #SaatchiSelfie competition provides a global platform for Self-Expression. Our commissioning of work by ten young British Photographers completes the narrative and highlights the exciting potential of the very latest technology to encourage creativity.”

The exhibition will open from 31st March – 30th May 2017 and take over one entire floor of the Saatchi Gallery.
www.saatchigallery.com/selfie/

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer The Year's Midnight 2011 Shadow Box 5 High resolution interactive display with built-in computerized surveillance system 104.5 x 80 x 12 cm Edition of 6 Courtesy Oscar Monsalve and bitforms gallery, New York
Rafael Lozano-Hemmer The Year’s Midnight 2011 Shadow Box 5 High resolution interactive display with
built-in computerized surveillance system 104.5 x 80 x 12 cm Edition of 6 Courtesy Oscar Monsalve and bitforms gallery, New York

About Mark Westall

Mark Westall is the Founder and Editor of FAD magazine, ' A curation of the world’s most interesting culture' [PLUS] Art of Conversation: A tri-annual 'no news paper' AofC - Issue 1 Autumn 2018