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Katreen Kyle M.


Worshiping One’s Self

Social media has rapidly become a necessity in our lives. With the aid of technology and

the internet, it has become easier for us to contact one another. Instead of paying for overseas calls,

with just a press of a button we can instantly see or talk to our loved ones working abroad through

online chatting platforms such as Skype or Facebook. Because of the development of smartphones,

social media has become more accessible to its users which is called microblogging. Having data

or a good Wi-Fi connection is sufficient enough so that you can instantly check the latest updates

on your friends, family and celebrities. Evidently, almost everyone has a social media account due

to its efficiency and popularity. Almost everyone can see how you represent yourself in the internet

which is the reason why it is inevitable that some people, particularly millennials, become

meticulous when it comes to what they show to everyone. They represent themselves in a

borderline narcissistic way by keeping the public updated on whatever they are doing. This certain

usage of social media is what Sandra Dans addressed in the exhibit entitled Iconolatria.

Iconolatria is the Italian word for ‘the worship of images’. The artist made use of the

problem of the early Church regarding the worshipper’s abuse of sacred icons. There was a

dilemma whether the sacred icons were venerated or worshipped. This has a point identical to the

usage of social media by certain people: whether the images and posts that they show to the online

community was just an act of merely sharing or, in a way, worshipping oneself. She weaved these

two ideas and showcased the end result in a series of photos she has exhibited in Iconolatria.

As you ascend the steps of Vargas Museum, you will first come across with a wall. A brief

introduction to the exhibit was plastered on the wall along with seven frames. These seven frames

this play with symbols regarding the gender norms is relevant because of the surfacing of sexism as a problem in our society. This photograph sparked my curiosity because of the editing and the symbols. In my opinion. of course. going to the gym.contains pictures of men adorned in flowers. It showcased two representations of herself – one which was more adapt to reality considering the disheveled hair and attire while the other resembling an angel. the glow she emitted and even the short haircut. the dynamic of the poses of the two models resembled Michelangelo’s iconic fresco painting entitled The Creation of Adam. The photograph shows that she is looking up to an angel form of herself – a pure and holy form that one would naturally venerate or worship. listening to music. Men who display a sense of femininity or women who display a sense of masculinity are often shunned or regarded as people unequal to the rest of the society. The artist used herself as a model in the pictures she has displayed in the exhibit. visiting the beach and . the first picture entitled The Annunciation. the prominent wings sticking out of her back. This representation of men isn’t according to the norm where men are seen and considered as masculine. The following images displayed various scenarios of herself doing ordinary activities such as having coffee. Flowers symbolize beauty thus contrasts the idea by the hints of femininity decorating the masculine image. There is a community that is always on guard or in the defense of the unordinary which are generally those who offer themselves up to religion. taking a bath. It represents the general scheme of the exhibit wherein one worships oneself. The representation of a different view of the male gender promotes equality and openness to ideas and people that contrast the norm. There was an exchange of a stem of white flowers in the picture. The first thing that caught my attention was. This series is called ‘Mga Santong Kanto’. taking into consideration the attire. In my opinion.

She showed an emotionless expression on her face just as the early Christians presented saints. Stampitas are Catholic prayer cards which are used to carry out faith. From a Catholic’s point of view.enjoying an amusement park. In The Annunciation. They could be brought everywhere due to its size which are reminiscent of today’s mobile phones. Analyzing the arrangement of the images. I inferred that the occurrence of flowers represent the angel in the succeeding images. viewing it as a part of the society where the social media culture thrives. The artist has added the idea of the Christian dilemma by adorning the model in spiritual symbolisms such as halos. However. These are a few of the images you’d frequently see being shared in social media. the application of these holy symbols to the images are blasphemous. an angel representation of herself was giving the other a flower. I have noticed that flowers were a recurring part of the images. may they be in the background or as an ornament in her hair. the flame above the head and spiritual glow. these images accurately – in an exaggerated manner – depict the usage of social media as a form of creating a respected and sought after image of yourself to the online public. Social media is made portable and accessible due to smartphones and the artist made stampitas of herself with captions at the back. Stampitas were utilized in the exhibit as a representation of the microblogging aspect. The artist presented through analogy that the act of worshiping the image of oneself is also carried out with the use of . I would also like to point out the usage of hashtags as the titles of the pictures that people often use in order to make their posts more accessible to not only their friends but also to the anonymous users of the specific social media. instead of the usual prayers. This was made evident by the use of hashtags and usernames. This also created more focus on the holy symbols. It could imply that the view of herself as something to be worshipped or something holy such as an angel was present in the images. as if they were posted in social media such as Instagram and Twitter.

She has produced three different depictions of how we humans tend to worship ourselves. people who frequently use social media as not just a hobby or pastime but as a part of their life have become incredibly fond of presenting ourselves and our daily activities to the online public. the artist has chosen to use Jorge B. It shows the self-worship aspect of her theme minus the God analogy. Despite the manner in which the artist expressed this in a blasphemous approach. Given that the Vargas Museum requires that the galleries are to feature something from their archive. This is to create another representation of the message she wishes to express which she also pointed out in the description mentioned previously. presenting oneself through pictures and sharing it incessantly in our social media accounts is a mechanism for people . We struggle to create an image of ourselves that others would find interesting or aesthetically pleasing. I do not see it as something that we should condemn. The artist did not restrict to conveying the message just through the images but also the exhibit. I can relate to the exhibit of Sandra Dans. In the grand scheme of Iconolatria. Creating an image we like of ourselves in the internet. As someone guilty of romanticizing ordinary activities and one’s worth through self- representation in social media. Vargas’ portraits and photographs to display alongside her work in a museum named after himself. I view this as something I am terribly guilty of because I also tend to use my smartphone as a platform to share notable accounts of my day to day life. which I am included in. can be considered as an art form.mobile phones. Looking at it from a different perspective from the artist. disregarding whether it is a far cry from our true selves off the internet or not. It is as if we are creating models that we strive to achieve or become. She has pointed out in one of the descriptions the fact that she is using pictures with herself as a model in her own exhibit. The victims of the forming social media cult are the millennials of this generation.

It gives us a sense of acceptance from the society and eventually from ourselves. It came with the rise of social media and it will be here until the end of it – that is.such as myself to accept ourselves by creating an image of us in a way that we like. . Either way. This act that can be accurately described as self-worship is something that is open to be viewed in different aspects. this will not fade sooner or later. Some may see it as an act of self-appreciation to gross extents or narcissism while others may see it as an inspirational act of acceptance. if it has an end.