This work is a comment on how we use social media as a mask to hide and change who we really are, presenting a different persona to the world. In this Conceptual Art project, I want to expose how we present a mask – a false identity.
Through a digital “dual” self portrait (one Mask, one Truth), I am exploring this contradiction. I try to illustrate how use social media (particularly Facebook) through my two Facebook identities; Frankie Valens, the idealised me and Sam Ross, the real me.
In today’s society we are so obsessed with the idea of an ideal self, that we actually discard who we really are and replace it with a construct of who we’d like to be be; showing how hypocritical and superficial we can be. People use friends, interests, and posts. This digital mask has become second nature to us. My conceptual piece also asks this question whether we even recognise this facade when we see it, explaining how Facebook and social media has become the mask of the 21st Century.
This conceptual piece is a continuous live process, with no end point. The wider Facebook community is invited to comment and add to the pages. You as the audience are invited to view and interact with my Facebook identities in the exhibition, to leave comments which will be uploaded to the pages. The audience participates and becomes part of the art giving it a “social” dimension. I hope my work also challenges the viewer to examine their own online profiles and and use of social media and ask whether it represents the real them.
I used Facebook as a therapy, to cope with what was was happening to me at the time and as a result, I had no real sense of self, who I was: only the construct that I created. This work represents a new beginning as I begin to find out who I am, to know myself, and to accept who I am. To understand, cope, confront and overcome my fear of other people, my childhood and myself.
We keep the truth inside in fear that we will be judged. We do this to fit in; to operate in everyday society. We have become so obsessed with becoming something else that we have forgotten who we really are behind the mask.