by Beauchamp Art
Photomanipulation of Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman (in American Psycho), with the the the mask of Batman (in The Dark Knight), whom the actor also played, superimposed onto his head. And example of a memetic collage; a ‘mash-up’.
The primary image was taken from a peer’s Facebook page, the secondary from Google Images.
Baleman as displayed on Facebook, as a comment on a friend’s banner image.
This rather crude photo-collage was done as a novel exploration of online memetics, and how images from popular media may easily blend into one another, in this case using the image of a celebrity actor. The two character roles also seemed loaded with meaning involving identity, the double-life, and the inauthenticity of the solitary individual as a unified single self, in place of a more socially-really multi-faceted person. As Patrick Bateman is a character leading a double life as Wall-Street Yuppie in the late 80s and psychopathic serial killer, based on Bret Easton Ellis’s novel. The schism of the character’s personality being further complicated by his mental instability, and the ambiguity to the audience as to which events he sees that are actually taking place, and which are part of his internal phantasy life.
Similarly, the masked comic-book hero of Batman, and his everyday character of Bruce Wayne, expresses a similar problematic relationship between conflicting aspects of the self, as well as the character’s struggle to balance the two roles in his life, one always dominating the other. With the mask functioning as a homage to the façades of the ancient dramatics and actors of Greece; of Tragedy and Comedy; of Eros and Thanatos, the coin with two faces. Such a confusion may be hyperbolised by the perception of a schizoid self for the individual online and in ‘meatspace’, and how the concept of the self is extended by technology through various media in representational forms that reflect back on the ego like countless mirror fragments, interfacing with other people’s perception of oneself based on varied externalisations of the internal id.