Twitter feeds are not normally subjected to artistic and/or aesthetic citique but when that feed belongs to one of the most scrutinised females in the western world, it is no surprise that a deeper psychological anlaysis of how individuals view the world around them and how our choices of what we post and share not only become a reflective representation of our existence but also acts as an identifying gesture that marks us.
In reading a ‘critique’ of Melania Trump’s twitter feed by Kate Imbach I tried to removed my anthropological microscope from the writing and instead viewed it as an interesting way to approach a critical discourse around the images we create. As always, the comments fascinate me as they reflect the way that social media and similar platforms allow individuals to go on their own divisive ‘rants and raves’. Of course we are entitled to our own opinion and observations, and it is not surprising to me that the fractured responses expose our inherently binary attitudes that possibly mirror our ideological ‘core-values’. But more fascinating to me is the role that the image plays within the larger discourse of the ‘image-world’ we live in and what its trajectory might be into a potentially ‘post-image’ reality, where the boundaries of fact and fiction are now easily manipulated, crafted and composed as new technologies, virtual/augmented realities, “projected 3D images that are beamed straight into our eyes” [source] are about to become the new normal and where ‘image’ might be/mean something else in the near future.
Imbach treats our very public need for ‘display’ as a ‘body of work’ (works of art/artist/performer?) which exposes the network-image of our ‘post-truth’ capitalist ‘value-saturated’ environments to a kind of critique that normally we reserve to the white-cube. Here the image which we might dismiss as ‘snap-shots’ has had its status elevated to ‘public-performative’ where its association has allowed it to migrate off the mantle piece, the bedside table, fridge or those weird multi-matted-overly-framed-picture-holder-things (sorry don’t now how else to describe them) – and to inhabit a networked reality where our senses are trying to adjust to a world of information that puts the image in tension with our subjective relationship with the here and now. Its worth a read and you can find a link in the image below (… more on that later).
Kate Imbach is an American fiction writer and visual artist living in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She is an MFA candidate at New York University has an MPA from Suffolk University. She directed the documentary short films The Taxi Composer (2012), The Mayor of Noe Valley (2013), The Last Video Store (2014), and Partners (2015), which premiered at the 2016 San Francisco International Film Festival. Her fiction has been published in Passages North, Word Riot and Map Literary, among others.