Poser, invading digital photo frames


In a very short time since they appeared, digital photo frames have become so popular that they now regularly invite aesthetic experimentation. In his recent project Poser, Constant Dullaart has offered an ironic view of this media. Slipping inside the device, the artist has designed some chroma keys of himself and, using a cinematic technique, he has added himself into some group portraits found online (one of the distinguishing features of the Dutch artist is his reworking of material from the web). From Leon Battista Alberti onwards, art history is littered with attempts to overcome the physical limits of the frame – to enter into or move beyond it. Therefore the originality of Poser is not to be found in this invasion, but rather in the artist’s intention to inhabit contemporary technological devices, to become part of them and to understand their specific natures. However, Dullart’s work also raises some important questions about the boundaries between public and private space in our current culture of participation. The Dutch artist dramatically violates the privacy of a group that, in the act of posing, has made explicit its strong mutual bonds of belonging. But a picture published on the web tends to lose its original values and with them the identity and bonds on which it was based. Dullaart takes his advantage from this short-circuit between private reminiscences and the public imaginary to make a foray into the everyday lives of other people, which have become a globalized showcase and – as such – the place of choice of every contemporary artist.

Vito Campanelli