So for the beginning of PicBod, we were instructed to go and create a self-portrait on whatever theme we felt like exploring. However what was critical about this was trying to convey a message to the audience, which would be clear to understand.
In my work, I like to try and show off a message within my work, but only to a point that would make the viewer slightly understand what is going on and make them pursue their own thinking to think what is going on.
Now, I didn’t want my self-portrait to be very simple as in a single face shot against a boringish background that offered nothing. Rather, I wanted something that would push my own boundaries that little bit further.
So I started to look at the idea of identity within ourselves. I know from personal experience that there have been times where I have had different personalities to suit different social groups. What’s important to note is that this has never been imposed on me, but rather something that I have taken on my own accord to pursue. As who doesn’t want to fit in with everyone?
This is a question that constantly goes through my head, and I would presume with others as well. We as humans desire to be recognised and fit in with others, or else we simply have no self-value in our existence. So I sat down and began to think about the past times where I have “acted” differently to others:
Now don’t get me wrong, all of these things are what I would consider part of my persona. However, only a few of these come out to particular people. So it raises the question on what is the true self we see, and how others see? Is there parts of our identity that we like to hide away because we don’t feel like that side needs to be seen, or are there other underlying reasons?
For myself, I know there is one side to me that I would never really let anyone see at all unless they are someone I have 100% trust in. This is the side that only I know off and refuse to let out because I am afraid of the reaction that it may cause for others to see. However, we worry too much at how society views us, so we have to consider at what cost does it come at? Do we loose our true selves in all of it, or do we lie to ourselves in order to make everything ok.
In my self-portrait work, I looked at the common use of using mirrors to produce different ideas of the person that we see. One photographer such as Anais Gómez-C, she explored the use of the split persona in mirrors. It is a fairly simple bit of work in terms of how it is made, but it is the methodology of it that I am interested in. The bodily expression of the person in the mirror is contrasted to the one outside. This is a simple use of Photoshop to manipulate our perception, as we have to take a double take as to what is going on. The same goes with Bùi Linh Ngân’s piece of work as well to express her own feelings of relationships and missing individuals. It goes to show of how effective using a mirror can be when you want to portray something.
I know such artists tend to only use one mirror to have the most impact in projects like this. However I wanted to explore just more then one of my personas, as just looking at one wouldn’t do justice to me as a person. Rather, I wanted to show off the side that I feel the public see on a constant basis compared to the side I see myself as, whilst having a smaller version of me hidden away to represent the side of me that I never bring out and keep tucked away from everyone.
This work was quite hard to make due to the angles and then making sure everything linked in together; does it work in showing off the different sides of us? I think it does. Showing it off to others and explaining the idea of different personas, they have said they can relate to it as they have been in situations like that before. So it isn’t just something that one person does, but more of a societal issue in general. It’s not one that can be fixed as easily, but it’s something that should be brought to our attention more often then not.