To engage with art is one matter, but to make yourself the centerpiece is another one entirely. Exhibitionism is an experience by Dja that ruminates on how we often find ourselves, as opposed to the art that we create, at the center of attention of others.
Art galleries have a strange aura to them, as if they’re a sort of banquet or feast which begs the question, what exactly is on the menu? Exhibitionism tackles the strange masquerade of guarding your intentions while flagrantly expressing your desires; ruminating upon the cacophony of the unusual, unique lengths people go to in order to seek recognition, even at the cost of those around them.
Thusly we are presented with a gallery scene that has no art. Instead, what we find on display are others’ pets and relationships, the very people themselves the piece de jour. As you bump into the various patrons, you realize that the majority of them are, beneath the carefully crafted patina of sophistication and depth, more shallow than any amateurish presentation of photographs and paintings could ever aspire to be. Each individual is a snapshot of ambitious expediency and craven demeanor, with attention seeking and desolate personalities permeating the loud environment as you seek a reason to justify your own attendance.
With the era of social media upon us, it’s vital that we understand our impact on one another beyond the simplistic and vague. The vapid ritual of accumulating meaningless social capital, often intended to camouflage our consumptive drive, now acts all too often as a vortex sucking the meaningful context out of the room. We would do well to manifest ourselves as graceful entities, lest we risk becoming fragile porcelain dolls and unintentional statuettes, living tributes and monuments to our most predatory, self-serving instincts. While the path to hell may be paved with good intentions, the staircase to enlightenment is stained with mordancy.
It’s a short experience worth reflecting on, give it a go for yourself.
Emily Rose is an indie developer who writes for rebind.io and resides in the pacific northwest. She’s often seen in the local VR arcade and developer community participating in pushing the medium’s horizons. You can find her on twitter @caravanmalice