I Selfie, Therefore I Am

“If horses had cameras, they would probably take selfies too” – Enoc Perez.

By Daniel Boetker-Smith JUL 2015

A few days ago, I found myself killing time in a bargain basement bookshop located in a non-descript suburban mall. As I wandered around the heaving shelves, I stumbled upon the ‘Photography’ section, where I spotted a small book with a large image of Kim Kardashian on the front. The book was titled Selfish and published by legendary New York imprint Rizzoli.

The book had a massive orange ‘discount’ sticker on it and was selling for only a few dollars. Being somewhat of a photobook snob, I derisively picked it up and flicked through what I was sure would be the trashiest, most vacuous photobook I had ever experienced. But then something happened. After flicking through once, I couldn’t decide what I had just seen. The book is mammoth and spans chronologically nearly a decade across its 400 or so pages. All the images are selfies, and they move from film to digital, and from a naïve approach to the selfie to a conscious and clearly defined repeated representation of the Kardashian brand. Don’t get me wrong: the images are as bland as hell, but I couldn’t decide if this book was either absolute rubbish or total genius. Now, a few days later, I’m still not sure.

But back to the bargain bookshop. On a second look through Selfish, I came to notice that even though the book was brand new (published on May 5 this year), it had already made its way pretty much straight to the shop’s discount shelf – a great metaphor for the Kardashian brand and celebrity... Subscribe to read this article in full

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