Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Assignment 02: Deciphering Self

Our second project for intro to photog and video is to examine self-portraiture through the use of photograpy. The concept of self is a slippery one because it's difficult to examine the vessel your are travelling in and also because it is really easy to get shmaltzy: oh my Self, I'm Unique, I'm individual. To avoid this, we are encouraged to consider the self in term of identity and representation. To quote from the assignment sheet, "If there is no true self (as postmodernism suggests), and there is no truth with a photograph, what then remains to be explored within your ideas of identity, representation, authenticity, fabrication, etc." 
A quick google of "why does postmodernism suggest there is no true self" comes up with this: As Kevin Vanhoozer states, “Postmoderns are so preoccupied with the situated self that they cannot get beyond it.”1 Because of this “situatedness,” no one can claim objectivity for his or her views." One can interpret this to mean that there is no "truth" but instead "your opinion". So what does that say about the self? Self-portraiture becomes your opinion of your self by your self.
Some questions: we are a product of our environment--what does this mean? what might cause your self to be? how can you represent self through portraiture? 
Jeff Wall
Do Ho Suh
I really like this piece called Double Self-portrait by Jeff Wall. It would be interesting to bring this into a digital context! Like a room full of Pete's!

I love Do Ho Suh! I think he's one of my favourite artists! Much of his work deals with identity and the collective community. Below is a pattern for wall paper using cutouts from year books. He also did a piece that was a composite image of many faces of Korean males, all of them overlayed to create a general shape. This example is probably too sculptural but it is certainly intriguing!

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