Kate Durbin

Hello Selfie

Kate Durbin The Selfie Aesthetic

source: dazeddigital
I was searching the net for female artists who use their own body as part of their work and explore how female identity is created online when I discovered “Women As Objects”, one of Kate Durbin’s internet-based projects. This is a Tumblr blog where for two years (2011-2013), she re-blogged posts and images from teenage girls on Tumblr, with the aim of casting a light on a strong teenage female online community, expressing itself through images often too quickly deemed ‘girly’ for their glittery vibes and pretty-in-pink attitude.

Durbin is a Los Angeles-based artist, who focuses her work on gender, and pop culture and often investigates the western iconoclastic perception of women idealised and portrayed as princesses, witches and fairies and how these roles mesh with today’s popular culture. She delves into the world of YouTube celebrities, TV entertainment, and Disneyland imagery, offering us a distilled version of modern culture covered in glitter. There is a darker twist though as she brings to life her distorted contemporary versions of archetypal fairies like in the case of Hello Selfie, her most recent art performance, where a group of young women dressed up as mermaids covered from head-to-toe in Hello Kitty stickers and glitter walk around the streets of Miami. Below, I chat with her about sci-fi, selfie-sticks and the future of humanity.
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source: bullettmedia
Hello Selfie, a performance series by artist and author Kate Durbin, presents a new form of passive-aggressive performance art, reveling in teen narcissism and the girl gaze. Inspired by surveillance culture, Hello Kitty, Apple products, the teen girl tumblr aesthetic, Miley Cyrus, and Vanessa Beecroft, the piece exists both IRL and URL, featuring custom fashion by Peggy Noland.

The IRL aspect of the piece takes place in a public space where a large group of female performers take selfies for an hour straight. They do not directly interact with the audience, instead interacting only with their phones. Passersby gawk and take their own selfies with the girls. The selfies are then uploaded to social media and shared in real time.

The first iteration of Hello Selfie LA took place in Chinatown on July 26th as a part of Perform Chinatown, LA’s annual performance art festival. The second takes place tonight in Manhattan’s Union Square on Oct 10th in collaboration with Brooklyn’s Transfer Gallery, from 7-11pm. An exhibition featuring film, photography, and fashion from the Chinatown performance will be shown afterwards at the gallery. The selfies will be available for immediate purchase for $25 each.
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source: dazeddigital
A kaleidoscope of girls, dressed up as eerie goth mermaids in glittering Hello Kitty stickers, underwear and multicoloured wigs, hold up selfie sticks as they were their final bastion, and wander off into the ocean.

This was the elegiac finale earlier this week at Miami’s South Beach to a performance choreographed by Kate Durbin, a fourth wave feminist, artist, and co-author of The Teen Girl Tumblr Aesthetic disrupted the city’s notorious art fair week with a real life rendition of her teen Tumblr inspired art, that probes beyond our perceptions of selfie culture at large.

Ahead of her next event in Miami, we caught up with the influential thinker and creator to find out more about the latest iteration of her Hello Selfie performance (see last year’s here) at Pulse art fair, her practice in general, and her appearance in a new feminist feature film.
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soyurce: fuckyeahkatedurbintumblr
Kate Durbin is a Los Angeles-based writer and artist. She is author of The Ravenous Audience (Akashic Books, 2009), E! Entertainment (Blanc Press, diamond edition, forthcoming), ABRA (Zg Press, forthcoming w/ Amaranth Borsuk), as well as the conceptual fashion magazine The Fashion Issue (Zg Press, forthcoming), and five chapbooks: Fragments Found in a 1937 Aviator’s Boot (Dancing Girl Press, 2009), FASHIONWHORE (Legacy Pictures, 2010), The Polished You ( as part of Vanessa Place’s Factory Series, oodpress, 2010), E! Entertainment (Insert Press, 2011), and Kept Women (Insert Press, forthcoming). She is founding editor of Gaga Stigmata, which will be published as a book from Zg Press in 2012. She co-curated a forum on women writers and fashion for Delirious Hem, SEAM RIPPER. Her performance Prices Upon Request was performed at Yuki Sharoni Salon in Beverly Hills, and Pardonmywhoremoans at BELLYFLOP gallery in L.A. She writes for Hollywood.com.