Advertising identities: virtual galleries as places of identity [Full text]
Alexandra Zontea 
Abstract: This paper is focused on the public presentation of self through virtual art galleries, singling out the field of photography. Photography has always been disputed as being part of the highbrow arts because of its popular character. Today, anyone who owes a photo camera can experience photography as art, without a rigorous training. Everybody is able to expose the photos freely to a large number of people, on the Internet. Consequently, the Internet opens up a virtual space, in which photo artists and amateurs can promote their works and exhibit them in a personal online gallery, which represents their place in the virtual vastness. Therefore, my research approaches the matter of the virtual gallery as an identitary place, being focused on finding out why artists choose to exhibit in virtual galleries. I asked myself what are the new functions of the virtual art galleries? Are they understood as online markers that distinguish the owners in these virtual environments? In other words, are these personal galleries a way of expressing online identities?
Keywords: Online identity, virtual gallery, identitary place, virtual self, online identity construction
 University of Bucharest, Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, firstname.lastname@example.org