Fine Art Photography project.
This is a black and white film photography series of fine art self-portraits inspired by an essay by Claude Cahun.
Claude Cahun has been the pioneer of self-portrait photography, her research of woman’s identity got through this kind of photography.
She was very revolutionary and original for her time: not only thanks to her self-portraits. Effectively she even used to disguise herself in her self portrait session.
Cahun tried to demolish canons women had undergone; she criticized stereotypes and also did so through writing.
The essay I chose for my self-portraits is ” Alice leaves Alice sleeping”. It talks about the “double” of Alice who goes beyond the mirror.
“Alice leaves Alice sleeping
and she wakes up on the other side of the mirror, finally, alone, and, finally, free,”
In Cahun photographs presence of the mirrors is frequently: the mirror is an element to symbolize “the pursuit of absolute self-knowledge. But it also emblematises its impossibility.” (Jennifer Shaw, “Don’t kiss me”, ed.aperture) That’s why in some photomontage the vision of Cahun’s face is partial.
The subject of “double” or, in detail, of the Narcissism are the focus in Cahun’s artworks and writings. She writes of “self-love” and of “neo-Narcissism” such as something “no longer absolute but agreeably relative.”
In fact, Narcissus for Cahun doesn’t love himself, but he let himself be fooled by an image. He could go beyond his mirage and love himself in the completeness of the universe.
In my interpretation, “beyond the mirror” identifies a spiritual dimension, where the “double” has its independent self.
“The double“ is free because it is divided from both reality and reasoning that don’t allow us to see any other truth. In this way, Alice’s identity and authenticity can be free. She’s real, she’s true.
In my self-portraits, I am reflected in the little mirror because sometimes my “double” is still on the other side.
Is That me, the “double”? am I the reflection? Where is my double? Where am I?
I print myself in the darkroom first copies of these imagines, size 7 by 9 inches.