omri harmelin               


Self Popular, 2015
In the game Hang Man, the stick figure does not exist or appear in its fullness unless the guessing player is "dead". In SELF POPULAR the need to be seen is tested and challenged by a video and interactive apparatus. The heart of the video shows a conversation between a viewer and Elvis as he appears in Andy Warhol's painting Double Elvis (1963). The apparatus offers the real viewer a constructed environment where he or she can take a selfie in a film noir set. Venetian blinds, a film noir trademark, create shadows as the seductive element that invites the viewer to participate. The selfie itself is challenged since the viewer cannot take his own photo. The monitor, which offers a stylistic frame (monochromatic, high contrast) is not in reach. The viewer is forced to work with a friend, resulting in an actor director dynamic. Both the video and the set are interrelated by visual and content. Contradictions arise between the will of the viewer to take a selfie (potentially upload it to Social Networks) and the components of the installation. The dialog in the video, the Hang Man game that presents the title of the video, and the gallows that hold the Venetian Blinds undermines the will of the viewer and joining it with a negative meaning.