Ah, the selfie. It was a warm California winter day, and Paris Hilton was spending some much needed downtime with gal pal Britney Spears. Though her blonde extension remained sleek, her mind was reeling. An ill advised drunken drive had earned her a DUI and gotten her license yanked. What, she wondered, could possibly help her cope with the stress of being an incredibly privileged one percenter? Photos! Tilting her chin down and turning to profile, she held up her camera and began snapping pictures of herself and Brit Brit. Thus, the selfie was born (duckface pending).
Or, at least that’s what Paris tweeted on what she believes to be the eleventh anniversary of her profound invention. While no one believes her, we all understand the power of the selfie and its ubiquity is a given. It’s therefore no surprise that a museum dedicated to selfies is springing up in Los Angeles this January. Will Paris be celebrated?
The Museum of Selfies will not only highlight selfie-inspired art designed to educate, it will also provide a bunch of spaces designed to keep your Instagram on point. The exhibits are part of a cultural conversation about the role of the selfie. Is it empowering? Is it narcissism in action? Are millennials fairly marked as the selfie generation? One wonders how this discussion plays when people are a few feet away holding a selfie stick and slowly moving their heads until they find their best angles.
The co-founders of the museum are escape room designers who are aware of the friction between classical photography and museum attendance and modern drives.
“The relationship between people and art has changed,” cofounder Tommy Honton told Mashable. “Now people don’t want to just be a silent consumer, they want to be a part of the art. There are many more selfies with the Mona Lisa than actual Mona Lisas.”
Visitors can expect exhibits inspired by clichés like food pics, bathroom mirror images, and pop culture. There’s a freaking Iron Throne crafted out of selfie sticks.
It’s hard to say how much reflection is meant to occur, as the founders are clearly pro-selfie. It feels more like this is a good time designed to create photo opps. And, really, that’s fine.
“We definitely want people to laugh or be surprised by the entire exhibit,” Honton said. “So we have the visual humor where people walk up, and they engage with the space. And we’re hoping they laugh, or they’re surprised, or are amused, and that they can’t help but want to take a picture with it.”
No date has been released for the opening. Admission will be $25, which is a small price to pay for some rad images of your fave subject. You.