Exposition

Self-portraiture: on photography’s reflexive surface (2016)

Elisavet Kalpaxi

About this exposition

This exposition deals with narcissism, narrativity, self-portraiture, and photography. It illustrates a practice-based research project instigated in 2007 that aims to decode and recover narcissism as a useful sense-making scenario or system. This approach can help make sense of photography and self-portraiture in the present, and can be employed in the development of visual strategies in photographic self-portraiture. Here I present the practical work that was produced and the theory that influenced my practice: namely, the revaluation of the relationship between self-portraiture and narcissism, and ideas from the semiotics of photography and narrative theory. The three main sections of the exposition illustrate the chronological development of my work, and each section is divided into two parts. The first part of each section presents the practical work, whereas the second part illustrates the theoretical aspect of this project, which stems from a wish to reflect on my own art practice and increase my understanding of self-portraiture, while also interrogating narrative codes and devices in photography, such as the double, mise en abyme, and mirroring structures, and their association with narcissism. Drawing on psychoanalytic theory, semiotics, and narratology, I argue that narcissism in self-portraiture can simultaneously represent an imaginary withdrawal of the artist, a structure within the work, and a vehicle for narrativity. By eluding structured language systems, narcissism provides a vocabulary for narrativising procedures, as well as meeting the artist’s/viewer’s modes of engagement. These ideas informed the practical component of the research project and provided the basis for a number of visual strategies employed in the development of the photographic self-portraits that are presented in the second part of each section. In these sections, I also explain the different strategies adopted in producing my images: the role of codes, narrative devices, layering, and reframing for understanding the density of an image and its inherent narcissism. In the process I propose that narcissism should receive a much more central role in the consideration of images and the way they communicate with a contemporary audience.
typeresearch exposition
keywordsart, practice-based, photography, self-portraiture, portraiture, narcissism, narrativity, indexicality, self-reflexivity, psychoanalysis, semiotics, narratology, literary theory
date01/01/2016
published28/04/2016
last modified28/04/2016
statuspublished
share statusshared with registered RC users
affiliationGoldsmiths College, University of London
licenseAll rights reserved
urlhttps://www.researchcatalogue.net/view/208783/252789
doihttps://doi.org/10.22501/jar.208783
published inJournal for Artistic Research
portal issue10.


Simple Media

id name copyright license
253129 The View in the Mirror Elisavet Kalpaxi All rights reserved
253040 Mirror Elisavet Kalpaxi All rights reserved
250760 22Perspective Elisavet Kalpaxi All rights reserved
208912 CliffWithPineTrees Elisavet Kalpaxi All rights reserved
208908 DislocationCreep Elisavet Kalpaxi All rights reserved
208907 DefectedRota-trope Elisavet Kalpaxi All rights reserved
208901 Perspective Elisavet Kalpaxi All rights reserved
208900 Self-contemplationWithScisors Elisavet Kalpaxi All rights reserved
208899 Pilgrimage Elisavet Kalpaxi All rights reserved
208898 DomesticSceneWithMirrors Elisavet Kalpaxi All rights reserved
208874 Trafalgar_TheOneTheOther Elisavet Kalpaxi All rights reserved
208873 TheReturnOfTheFlock Elisavet Kalpaxi All rights reserved
208872 TheGarden_Redemption Elisavet Kalpaxi All rights reserved
208871 StPaul'sInAthenianFog Elisavet Kalpaxi All rights reserved
208870 GulfWithBathers Elisavet Kalpaxi All rights reserved
208869 AHometownOverview Elisavet Kalpaxi All rights reserved
208868 AHometownHierarchicalView Elisavet Kalpaxi All rights reserved
208857 Wheat Elisavet Kalpaxi All rights reserved
208856 SikionaTheatre Elisavet Kalpaxi All rights reserved
208855 Rowing Elisavet Kalpaxi All rights reserved
208854 Mirrors Elisavet Kalpaxi All rights reserved
208853 DoubleSelf-portraitwithMirror Elisavet Kalpaxi All rights reserved
208834 Wiping Elisavet Kalpaxi All rights reserved
208833 Window Elisavet Kalpaxi All rights reserved
208832 Reading Elisavet Kalpaxi All rights reserved
208831 Pine-tree Elisavet Kalpaxi All rights reserved
208830 Milk Elisavet Kalpaxi All rights reserved
208829 Embrace Elisavet Kalpaxi All rights reserved

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