The Renaissance is generally seen as the awakening of the individual; the Reformation gave people yet another reason to concern themselves with human-based religion and in that way to encounter different ways of celebrating their belief in God. Considerations that must have strengthened the self-awareness of citizens.
Or is it the tiring sessions spent posing for artists which at the end leave faces looking as though they have been petrified that is to blame for the gradual disappearance of all facial expression? Selfie, the 2013 Word of the Year, reveals something about how a new technology can help us achieve a new understanding of ourselves: the ever present need to draw attention to ourselves with a self-portrait is leading to a new form of standardisation. One seldom comes across a selfie where the subject is not deliberately flashing a smile and has not gone into overdrive with their facial expression. Any individuality behind it, however, appears to have been removed.
Yet another brilliantly subtle exhibition that uses the surface of something – in this case the face – to indirectly tackle a complex range of relationships.