Nowadays, the trend for lots of people to take selfies is fascinating. Is it just an expression of the dominant individualism in Western societies? What about all the people who don’t take selfies? Has that become one of those axes of identity like do or don’t do Facebook? Putting photos on the internet and the misuse that others might make of images of people has re-conjured that primal fear of the image capturing the soul… This year I’ve taken a series of selfies. I don’t have a phone camera that can take a photo backwards or a selfie stick (extraordinary invention!), so my shots are either hit-and-miss or reflections. Academia tends still to ignore the self in a vain (sic) quest for objectivity, while activist tend to devalue personal well-being in pursuing the common good… ‘Infected’ by both of those tropes, I struggle with representing the self. Moreover, I very seldom read autobiography or biography and, with the notable exception of van Gogh, self-portraits aren’t my favourite art form. So, to cut a becoming long story short, I continue to wrestle with the self and representation. Taking and working with this series of intensely personal portraits, snapped mainly in bathroom mirrors when slightly drunk, hasn’t yet helped me to reconcile identity and society. Neither has it made me any more comfortable with the way I look. And I’m still embarrassed to include a self-conscious selfie in my advent calendar.
I am he as you are he as you are me, and we are all together
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A story, essay, lyric or rhyme with no reason almost every day...