deFacebook is a new portrait series from Rajisthan-based artist Nandan Ghiya featuring traditional Indian artworks with a digital twist. As the title suggests, the artworks are “defaced” by rearranging blocks within pieces creating a glitch effect, and the distortion doesn’t stop there–Ghiya then proceeds by distorting the portraits’ frames in unison with the photographs. The final images are jarring portraits of faceless relics from India’s past.
Ghiya describes the work as a “veritable tree of life.” Through the series, he analyzes the connection between genealogy and photography, as images of one’s ancestors are passed on as keepsakes to subsequent generations. The glitches serve as a commentary on devolution of memory and immortalization in a society dominated by internet connectivity, which dissolves almost as fast as it springs up on our screens. In his artist’s statement, Ghiya further elaborates:
We all recycle, clip and cut, remix and upload. We can make images do anything. All we need is an eye, a brain, a camera, a phone, a laptop, a scanner, a point of view. And when we’re not editing, we’re making. We’re making more than ever, because our resources are limitless and the possibilities are endless.