LilyMayMac: How to Become Insta-famous

by Adrienne Tsou

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The purpose of this exhibition, LilyMayMac: How To Become Insta-famous, is to examine the technocultural phenomenon of selfies as it pertains to new ideas of fame, with a focus on one Instagram celebrity – @LilyMayMac. LilyMayMac, or Lily Macapinlac, is a 21 year old Australian woman who, in July 2012, began posting images and videos of her life on Instagram. By February 2016, she had amassed 1.3 million Instagram followers and was receiving offers for modeling contracts in Los Angeles, stipends for promotional material on social media, publications and expositions in local newspapers, marriage offers, and hate mail. Her progression, in 4 years, and in a series of social media publications, from 17 year old university student to 21 year old internet phenomenon, serves to document the process of becoming a celebrity in the 21st century and examine issues of gender conformity, social consumption, self-objectification, and microcelebrity. What happens when the mundane becomes celebrated? How do the newly celebrated adjust their content to fame? What happens when the personal becomes commodified and commodities become personal? What does it mean to be famous in 2016? How To Become Insta-famous reveals and addresses these issues and more with an analytical eye, looking particularly at how fame, cultural power norms, and content coalesce in the new celebrity of the 21st century.

for display at MOMA, NY, NY


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