Sunday, March 08, 2009
Self Portrait: Being and Nothingness
So this is my first (and may be my only) attempt at a self portrait for this week's DPO Weekly Assignment. Surprisingly I got stuck on what to do for a self portrait. I've done lots of self portraits before but I couldn't say that any one of them perfectly represented me, or were even close....so, just to give myself a headache, I decided to go existentialist.
Because I was contemplating what parts of me were not in my previous photographs, what sprang to mind was Satre's work "Being and Nothingness". Rather than being as the opposite of nothing, Satre considers them as contradictions. Nothingness is a state of non-being, logically subsequent to being. In my self portraits whilst a part of me is there, the portrait is also defined by what of me is not there. That's something that is very clear to me. In saying that “This is a photograph of part of me” means that I should also be able to say “This is not a photograph of part of me”.
Anyway....it's difficult to take a photograph to represent a phenomenological ontological discussion, I tried to make it as monochrome as possible but not as opposites but as part of the same condition. The white background fading into the self, a blur to blur the boundaries between being and nothing. It's an attempt!