About the Project
Artists' Statement & Credits
Motto: Keep rowing.
The idea of an Inner Selfie emerged from a self-portrait made as part of the Brain Terrains work, titled Cranial Cosmologies, in 2013 - coincidentally the same year “Selfie” was Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year. The Inner-Selfie project evolved from this initial 'selfie' over many years and continues to, with its emergent nature.
This current manifestation of an open, public co-creation platform, at the AGO, with the deceptively simple Inner-Selfie Generator, was developed in a wonderful collaboration with Maria Lantin. The project as it stands is a much-reduced facsimile of what we set out to create. The pandemic added some unique development challenges to our production. We lost participants to inflated costs, illness and other vagaries and had to find our agility super-powers. Maria piloted the project through the recurrent wrinkles that rose up regularly. It had an outsize impact on all of us - we are truly grateful for all the support for the project's completion.
Like any good adventure, we had ambitious plans. Where we set out to go, the terrains we mapped, the people we engaged with, the things we learned, and the things we had to let go along the way to get to where we got – is a truly wonderful arc.
Much gratitude to all involved. I'm hooked on the doodle and the playful outcomes of the Inner Selfie, it's addictive.
Hanif Janmohamed, June 28, 2022.
Motto: Love is the strongest force in the universe.
At some point in my 20s, I got rid of all the mirrors in my apartment, as an experiment. That broke something in a good way. It broke a habit of discounting what it feels like to just be. In my 40s I fell into a two-month-deep rabbit hole of whether free will is a useful concept as it's commonly understood. I feel like there's always been a quest to 'look behind the curtain'. So when Hanif had me fill out the Brain Terrains questionnaire and produced a beautiful collage of my answers anchored by a brain MRI filled with a map instead of a brain, I was intrigued.
When he said he wanted to do something more interactive, more public, I was in. It has been a chaotic journey getting the Inner Selfie project where it's at and it made me realize that the supply chain issues are not just about things. We are all struggling with learning to give each other what we need as we head out of a pandemic. I learned that the unfamiliar has no name and that's ok.
I hope that this project brings some moments of creative delight. It sure did for us as we were creating it. Much gratitude to all the many contributors that participated in the ideas generation, the scaffolding, the pipe-fitting, the priming, the cutting, the cleaning, the whole workflow - material, digital, and emotional. You are beautiful.
Maria Lantin, July 3 2022.
Inner Selfies is a co-creation project started by Hanif Janmohamed in 2013. It has evolved with the support of many wonderful partners as it makes its way to the ocean – still far off on the distant horizon.
INNER SELFIES @ THE AGO
ART GALLERY OF ONTARIO
Paola Poletto, Director, Engagement & Learning
Melissa Smith, Assistant Curator, Access & Learning
WITH THE PARTICIPATION OF:
Andrew Mallis, Kalamuna
The Reluctant Illustrator
AND SUPPORT FROM:
AND GUSH FROM:
Dr. Perseverance/Mr. Resilience
All the unknown and unacknowledged forces at work that make things the way they are, and of course the invisible forces that don't.
It's been an adventure. Gratitude and unreserved thanks to all.
About the Project
The Inner Selfies Project is a public-engagement initiative created by artists Hanif Janmohamed and Maria Lantin, in collaboration with the Art Gallery of Ontario.
It is an emergent project that engages with concepts of self and no-self. We are interested in questioning selfie culture and in the co-creation of poetic representations of identity and self. This manifestation of the project at the AGO, with the Inner-Selfie Drawing Tool is a result of a collaboration between artists Hanif Janmohamed and Maria Lantin.
The artists and the AGO acknowledge the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts for this project through the Digital Strategy Fund.