Featured Players by Michael Dahan
Images of celebrities reflect our desires back at us; we define ourselves though and against the qualities in which we imbue them.
I am interested in the psychological construction and mediation of identity through mass media images. The problem is, our culture encourages mass delusion by recreating images of itself in which its most unbearable features are eliminated. What has resulted is both the erosion of image and the erosion of identity.
In Featured Players I examine my unresolved relationship to celebrity culture and what occupies the great divide between my reality and theirs. Going to my 15 year high school reunion was an opportunity to revisit the celebrities of my adolescence and confront the ones who first exposed me to desire/denial through a predictable social hierarchy, and see them as they are now, really. My confidence in the reliability of the portrait is questionable – the veracity of the medium is uncertain and the individual, who is represented as “real,” is also dubious. I am interested in the psychological construction and mediation of identity through mass media images. Celebrities exist through narratives sustained by mass media, and my agreement to believe those narratives, and my decision to define my own narrative by those conceits, is eroding. What remains is a not-portrait of a not-person; the portrait, and potentially the person, offered as the residue of desired and denied perfection.