Autobiographical self-portraiture

This is the most accepted notion of self-portraiture, that of using yourself in your images to say something about yourself.

some of the photographers suggested for research in this chapter are:

I have explored Francesca Woodman in a separate post; read more . .

Reflect on the pieces of work discussed in this project in your learning log and do some further research of your own. Here are a few questions you might ask yourself:

    • How do these images make you feel
    • Do you think there’s an element of narcissism or self-indulgence in focusing on
      your own identity in this way?
    • What’s the significance of Brotherus’s nakedness?
    • Can such images ‘work’ for an outsider without accompanying text?
    • Do you think any of these artists are also addressing wider issues beyond the
      purely personal?

Elina Brotherus
Google image search 19.05.19

On their own with no context, these images are perplexing. They do seem self indulgent, however, having watched the video and listened to Elina speak about her images, i have a much better understanding and connection with her work.

In this video Elina explains her photography –

Gillian Wearing – google image search 19.05.19 – without the explanation that she is wearing a mask, they are so lifelike that you can’t tell. Therefore, I’m still not sure what she is trying to say or explore.

Elinor Carucci – now this I love. It’s amazing the difference in how you view images when you connect with them.

Elinor Carucci’s work feels intimate and perhaps a bit voyeuristic, it comes from a place I understand without explanation, whereas with Brotherus and Wearings work, I couldn’t relate to until, it was explained. Their work feels more like they are trying to externalise things that are happening in their heads. Woodman’s images are more compelling, in that I feel she gets across what she is trying to say, with movement and the shapes she makes with her body.

What is the difference between Carucci’s images and the those of Brotherus and Wearing with which I don’t connect. It would be interesting to do some comparisons to see if I can work it out. How can I bring these ideas into my work?

Richard Billingham – google image search 19.05.19. Reminiscent of Martin Parr, these images are of the photographer’s family and quiet dark and satirical in nature.

Tiernay Gearon – google image search 19.5.19. Like Carucci, the photographer has focused on montherhood, however her images are quite different, they are bright and saturated and convey motherhood as a happy time.

Francesca Woodman

“It is difficult not to read Woodman’s many self-portraits – she produced over five hundred during her short lifetime – as alluding to a troubled state of mind. She committed suicide at the age of twenty-two.” (Bright, 2010, p.25)

Francesca Woodman (1958–81) explored issues of gender representation and the use
of the female body in her work. Self-portraits dominate her substantial portfolio, often
portraying dark psychological states and disturbing scenes. She uses her body, locations and props to evoke a sense of surrealism, mystery and vulnerability. In Space2, for example, her body almost disappears into the blur of movement. This visual strategy recurs in her work and, since her death, has been interpreted as Woodman using photography both to present herself to the camera as an exhibitionist and to help herself disappear.

Look up Francesca Woodman’s images online. What evidence can you find for Bright’s

Google search for images by Francesca Woodman

I think that perhaps Bright is reading Woodman’s images with the hindsight of her subsequent death. I think it is natural for us all to explore our existence in time and space. Especially as in this instance she was possibly responding to an assignment brief, whilst studying at university. The title Space2, is actually Space squared.

as a human being we can move around and occupy different parts of a space, whilst the space itself can not move. I have tried this out myself using long exposure to put myself in the image but not in the image at the same time. Looking at the idea of only passing through time and leaving traces of oneself.

I like the smoky effect left by moving through the space. I was wearing a white top. In woodman’s images she was in an empty room. I liked the idea of being in and around my home.

Max Klinger – german surrealist painter,  Max Klinger (18 February 1857 – 5 July 1920) was a German symbolist painter, sculptor, printmaker, and writer. Klinger was born in Leipzig and studied in Karlsruhe. An admirer of the etchings of Menzel and Goya, he shortly became a skilled and imaginative engraver in his own right.

I have always enjoyed surrealism in my photography, I like the idea of adding symbolism as well.

Brooke Shaden – self portraits – this is a photographer whose work I have followed for a time. However, I find her quite dark, she follows themes of rebirth and feel a little like Woodman’s work. Personally, I prefer images that are more hopeful and uplifting.