Re-making the Global image / by Lasma Poisa

 Ecce Solem, 2017

Ecce Solem, 2017

Thinking of contemporary global images immediately made me consider viral media or global networking images that are being shared online. Memes have become a social phenomenon where images are shared and moulded without caring of who the author is.  They tend to be trivial and offer little intellectual value as their sole purpose is to provide entertainment, however they can also be subversive and show cultural movements therefore serve as a mirror as well as a window to the world.

In 2012 an image of Ecce Homo, a fresco by a Spanish artist Elias Gracia Martinez went viral after a failed restoration attempt by an elderly volunteer Dona Sesilia Gimenez in Sanctuary of Mercy Church in Borja, Spain, consequentially creating the Monkey/ Potato Jesus meme.


Popularity of this image lays, perhaps, in our own fear of failure and how one small mistake can lead to others, gain momentum and unravel in disaster. Disaster being a common theme of recent global political affairs (such as Brexit etc). Inspired by this, I decided to reappropriate another viral photograph of Donald Trump looking and pointing at the sun during the last solar eclipse. I used various images of Trump to create a collage focusing on stereotypical points of ridicule (each one, pointless). The whole purpose of memes and thr spectacle of viral media is to distract us; to look at the wrong thing, blind us to the important issues of global politics. Important images of global conflict (Syria, Ukraine etc) become invisible and ineffective in the mass stream of banal images.