Self-Portrait Hanging between Personal and Social Grimace

Self-Portrait Hanging between Personal and Social Grimace

Anton Joseph Trčka: Egon Schiele, 1914. From: Wolfgang Georg Fischer, Egon Schiele 1890–1918 – Desire and Decay, 2008.

The article argues that contemporary selfie culture is fully organized around grimaces, one type of face succeeding the other. After being recorded plenty of times, the “duck face” and “fish face” have become almost natural and socially acceptable. Article questions this assumption asking if these types of faces have not in fact already existed before. Grimace can be a result of an inner input, such as pain or madness, distorting our natural face, which then covers up the natural grimace as clothes do our intimate body parts. Thus, there are funny and less funny, socially communicative and mirror grimaces, there are meaningful ones and completely meaningless distortions of one’s face. Discussing the works of both artists and scientists, such as (among others) Anton Joseph Trčka, Alphonse Bertillon, Jean-Martin Charcot, Duchenne de Boulogne, Hannah Wilke and Sanja Iveković the article deals with the notion of the grimace as the posing in the intersection between public and private sphere.

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Grimace culture finally reached its peak with the development of self-portraiture, proving a certain madness, which had previously only existed in asylums, was now everywhere around us, in various amounts.
Reading time: 9 min.

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