From the borders to centre stage: photographic self-portraiture

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

    Abstract

    This article focuses on photographic self-portraiture and, in particular, it investigates what happens when the genre’s proximity to conceptual borders is crossed (between the center and the margins, self and other, normal and deviant behaviour, consciousness and unconsciousness) are challenged. Drawing on psychoanalytic and semiotic theories, and the history of the genre, this article investigates the negativity ascribed to self-portraiture, its association with identity politics and social media, and problems of reference arising in contemporary work. The objectification of one’s body image is inherently linked to narcissism. This idea is useful for understanding the meaning of the photo-album/photo-diary, the therapeutic aspects of self-portraiture, and the rhetoric applied to images produced to bring visibility to marginalized and underrepresented groups, which also serve to challenge the art establishment. However, the prioritization of art as a context for photography, the popularity of the genre, and the changing ideas related to definitions of ‘the center’, demand a re-definition of representations of selfhoods.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)65-76
    Number of pages12
    JournalPhilosophy of Photography
    Volume5
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2014

    Fingerprint

    Self-portraiture
    Art
    History
    Social Media
    Rhetoric
    Objectification
    Photography
    Unconsciousness
    Diary
    Negativity
    Visibility
    Proximity
    Redefinition
    Albums
    Body Image
    Selfhood
    Narcissism
    Psychoanalytic Theory
    Consciousness
    Identity Politics

    Keywords

    • Social media
    • selfies
    • self-portraiture
    • identity
    • art
    • photography
    • psychoanalysis

    Cite this

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    abstract = "This article focuses on photographic self-portraiture and, in particular, it investigates what happens when the genre’s proximity to conceptual borders is crossed (between the center and the margins, self and other, normal and deviant behaviour, consciousness and unconsciousness) are challenged. Drawing on psychoanalytic and semiotic theories, and the history of the genre, this article investigates the negativity ascribed to self-portraiture, its association with identity politics and social media, and problems of reference arising in contemporary work. The objectification of one’s body image is inherently linked to narcissism. This idea is useful for understanding the meaning of the photo-album/photo-diary, the therapeutic aspects of self-portraiture, and the rhetoric applied to images produced to bring visibility to marginalized and underrepresented groups, which also serve to challenge the art establishment. However, the prioritization of art as a context for photography, the popularity of the genre, and the changing ideas related to definitions of ‘the center’, demand a re-definition of representations of selfhoods.",
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    From the borders to centre stage: photographic self-portraiture. / Kalpaxi, Elisavet.

    In: Philosophy of Photography, Vol. 5, No. 1, 01.04.2014, p. 65-76.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

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