The self is not the face or the body but is an abstraction of the mind. The intangibility of the self means that one is never truly able to create a self-portrait. The self is an unknown; a constantly evolving abstract based on a collection of shared experiences and flawed memories.
Self [other] is a series that seeks to challenge the photograph as a still image whilst considering David Hume’s notion that “man is a bundle or collection of different perceptions which succeed one another with an inconceivable rapidity and are in perpetual flux and motion”. We never actually can have an idea of the self because we can’t have any idea of something persisting uninterrupted and unchanging through time at all. The flawed mind does not help in fixing the stillness of a photographic moment in order to represent the self.
This visual representation of Hume’s theories is able to co-exist with those of other philosophers such as Daniel Dennett. The strong sense of narrative within the photograph facilitates Dennett’s idea that “people often tell themselves stories to make sense of their world, and they feature in the stories as a character, and that convenient but fictional character is the self”. The corresponding impression of this narrative is that of the self-portrait.
The artist deconstructs her own pinhole photographs and recreates them as simple paper collages. This reconstruction of previously unpublished and personal images gives a true depth (both physically and psychologically) to each photograph. The choices made in the construction of the resulting imagery embed a true Self of the artist within each photograph; including flawed memories and repeated details. By choosing to work in this way the photograph is no longer “a defence against the passage of time” as Bazin described, but is an all encompassing embrace of a series of moments and recollections.