The Selfie and the Face

  • Hagi Kenaan


To say that a selfie is a photographic self-portrait is correct but does not begin to capture the specificity of this contemporary widespread phenomenon whose inner form needs to be accounted for on, at least, two intersecting levels: (1) the logic of the selfie as a specific kind of digital image that already belongs to a “post-photographic” condition and (2) the logic of the selfie as an act/event of self-presentation that, while continuing a tradition of self-portraiture, can no longer be explained only in terms of that tradition. The analysis in this chapter is ultimately directed at an ethical dimension of the selfie practice: It is the question about the place and predicament of the face—of its humanistic meaningfulness and value—in our contemporary life-world. With the selfie, the author argues, the common paradigms for conceptualizing the visuality of the face are no longer enough for attending to the concrete setting in which the contemporary face tends to singularize itself.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hagi Kenaan
    • 1
  1. 1.Tel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael

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