Photographic Self-portraiture from the Borders to Centre-stage

Elisavet Kalpaxi

    Research output: Contribution to ConferencePaper


    This paper focuses on the signification of the artist’s image in photographic self-portraiture. In particular, it investigates what happens when the genre’s sincerity and associations with notions of identity and the margins are challenged. Through visual examples, the papers deals with problems of reference that arise in contemporary photographic self-portraiture.

    The objectification of one’s body image operating in conjunction with photography’s projective power can be seen as inherently linked to narcissism and self-representative interests. This idea is useful to analyse the significance of the photo-album/photo- diary for the fortification of a person’s/group’s/family’s identity, the therapeutic aspects of self-portraiture (i.e., in Photo-therapy), as well as the rhetoric of images produced (mainly from the 1970’s onwards) to challenge the establishment of art and bring visibility to marginalized groups.
    However, photographic self-portraiture’s narcissism can be internalized without requiring narcissism on the artist’s side, because this has already been done by a tradition onto which the artist draws. In fact, narcissism becomes problematic in our current cultural climate of exchange. The prioritization of art as a context for all self-portraiture and popularity of the genre, necessitate the re-definition of the genre’s references and re-constructing meaning regarding representations of selfhoods.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 7 Sept 2012
    EventBorder Aesthetics - University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway
    Duration: 5 Sept 20127 Sept 2012


    ConferenceBorder Aesthetics
    Internet address


    • Photography, borders, marginalisation, identity, narcissim, psycholanalysis, identity politics


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