Invisibility is a Superpower
Our current society is one of overexposure. In prior times, all our written thoughts were tucked away in a journal, hiding in a secret location only we knew. And now, we post our most confidential experiences and opinions, throwing them out onto the web, hoping someone will take the time to read. Documenting our life on a virtual screen has brought us closer to the international community, but this culture of oversharing has brought several complications concerning general wellbeing. Social media has not only become a personal network, it has become an optimal platform to attain financial success and recognition, fusing the personal and professional spheres. The marketability of social media users has caused many to reveal every detail about their seemingly perfect life to gain fame and success. Often times, people exploit their talents, quick to put their name behind any piece of work that may gain any recognition. This culture of overexposure extends beyond the social sphere and extends to the expansive news media, capturing the vast tragedies experienced abroad and even within our own communities. In this political climate we are exposed on every media platform the cruel realities of our world. Awareness is vital; however, it is evident that increasing exposure may aggregate the crimes committed, inspire others, or worsen the public’s mental stability.
In a world of vast crime and diminishing optimism, a little girl with a red balloon plastered on a wall helps restore hope. Street art, like many other cities, is seen throughout London; however, this image of innocence left a lasting impression on the general public. Time after time, this street art was appearing throughout cities unannounced, utilizing highly political imagery, humorously decorated with playful designs. The artist responsible for these works is known as Banksy, yet his true identity remains a mystery. Banksy’s work has been featured in the streets of many European cities as well as displayed in exhibitions within museums such as the Moco Museum in Amsterdam. While browsing through the Moco Museum exhibit, a quote is plastered on the museum wall, in a similar manner to his artwork, stating, “I don’t know why people are so keen to put their details of their private life in public; they forget that invisibility is a superpower.” It is true. A question many are commonly asked as children is ‘if you could have one superpower, what would it be’ with the common response, ‘I would be invisible’. It seems as if we have forgotten the value of privacy in this highly public world. As a professional, one would think that an artist would be quick to put his name behind the works that are currently reaching immense acclaim. Banksy contrasts with this interest, existing beneath the surface of facial and name identification. Banksy truly challenges the public to reflect on this media age of vast social and political exposure. With a touch of humor and innocence, Banksy reminds us that there is liberation in privacy, intrigue in mystery, interest in the unknown, and most importantly, power in invisibility.
by Claudia Morgan