Last sunday I was huddled in the corner of a downtown coffee shop that’s open late. Imagine me wearing so many cardigans and scarves, with headphones on and face glued to my laptop screen. Four men I’ve never seen before sat down one by one on the couches nearby, each one of them made purposeful eye contact with me and continued to presumably “check me out” for the next hour. I’m assuming this because of their body language, which caught me entirely off guard. I was struck by how different their perceptions of me seemed from my own. So when I got home I took some photographs of myself because I was curious about how they saw me. Here I am!
I feel like, if you’re only catching glances at someone, only seeing small snip bits of who they are, than your perceptions would be similar to seeing a photograph. Those men may only notice what they want to see. They may only register my lips or my hair.
In doing this I realized that I take self portraits as a way to not only understand how others see me, but often as a form of performance. Essentially, I’m constructing an image or using the camera to substitute for another’s eye, not reflecting on how I actually see myself.
Taking this thought quite literally, I’m interested in the concept of Self (point of view) portraits. I feel like I spend more time looking at my hands than any other part of myself, so I’m working on featuring them in photographs, which means I’ve spent substantial time with a bendy tripod in my mouth. The goal being that as the viewer you’ll be seeing me the way I see myself in everyday life. Here are some of my first experiments:
I’m not sure what to call this yet, ‘The Self Perception Project’ maybe, or ‘POV Self Portraits’, or ‘Self Perception Portraits.’ or just “Self POV Portraits”. Any suggestions?
Also, speaking of POV, It’s been almost a year now since I started my “Panties Project” which was conceived from a similar concept, a hybrid of love for the “what I wore today” phenomenon and a life time of strange toilet nightmares.