Self-Portraits

“You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”

This remark by Ansel Adams is truly resonating with me as I look at my finished Self-Portraits. They are a product of memory, inspiration and introspection.

My Dad`s books, the memory of playing his favourite Beethoven composition to him as a child, the influences of David Hockney, Duane Michals, Helena Almeida, Haruki Murakami, the already abovementioned Beethoven to name just a few are all clearly present in this work. Each piece is also a ritual of sorts- be it myself performing a narrative in front of a static camera, the camera moving around me in a certain pattern or a background constructed from photographic prints.

As much as I have reflected upon the past while creating this series, I feel the final work is also very much a look forward, perhaps a result of coming to terms with some of the more difficult aspects of the past.  

Creating the Self-Portraits series in camera and (mostly) on film has been a technical and practical challenge in many ways, but the most testing (and rewarding) part has been finding a way to visually represent the invisible since my intent for this series has always been to portray my inner world, not my outer appearance. As Duane Michals put it- “What I cannot see is infinitely more important than what I can see.”

© 2020 by Renate Andersone. All rights reserved.