World’s Longest Selfie Stick, 2015
Practice Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
The World’s Longest Selfie Stick was an interactive solo-exhibition for Practice Gallery, a non-profit art gallery curated by a group of artists and art workers in Philadelphia, PA.
Practice Gallery is part of a series of popular gallery spaces involved in the downtown art scene’s First Friday. In an effort to activate artwork situated within a social rather than contemplative space, this critical, yet playful work frames the gallery-goers themselves as works of art. The piece, an extremely long selfie stick, extends 30+ feet and beyond the gallery space itself, allowing selfies with large groups of people.
On the wall, directly behind the group selfies, black vinyl text read “We Are Right at This Gallery Here Right Now.” This textual backdrop references our cultural obsession with taking selfies as proof of being in a particular location at a particular time. By reducing the specificity of the place, generically describing it as “gallery”, this conceptual non-site frames the group of people as the art themselves.
Current to the piece, Beyoncé and Jay Z’s selfie standing together in front of the Mona Lisa went viral and the NY MoMA officially banned selfie-sticks from entering the museum’s gallery spaces. Nearly 6 months later, Ben Stiller reportedly broke the world record for the longest selfie stick at the London Premier of Zoolander. However, for the record, his was 4 feet shorter than mine.
Read an essay about the artwork: Glenn LaVertu, Curator, writer, artist, critic and Professor at The New School