The Courage in Self-Portraits
One of the things I'd like to do during this "break" is to go to the Walker's Frida exhibit. When I was in Mexico City (1997), I was blessed to visit her home, Casa Azul. I was taken by the energy in the space, the gardens, and the view of gardens from the window where she liked to sit and paint. I was so inspired. I wish I could look out her window today.
I think I've always been captivated by her courage. It takes fortitude to expose your self, your afflictions, your pain, and even your face. How can someone expose so many details of their life? Why did she paint so many portraits of her self? How did she feel sharing those images with the world? How would she feel now that her image has inspired numerous Halloween costumes? The thing is, once you create it and share it (which is the click of a couple buttons now), you can't control what happens.
I love to watch other people's digital self portraits like the self-portrait projects:
Visit her website:AhreeLee
Living My Life Faster - 8 years of JK's Daily Photo Project from c71123 on Vimeo
Visit his website:Jonathan Keller
Visit her website:RachelCreative
More than just a photo a day, she uses this project as a creative outlet, and a document that she is alive. Of her work, she writes:
Is it art? I’m not sure what anyone else will think but to me it is, along with being a diary, a document of life with CFS/ME, a personal insight into coming to terms with my chronic illness, a sketch of life gone by and with it good and bad
Here's the NYT on the topic:
1998 article: "ART; Documenting an Outbreak of Self-Presentation"
2007 article: "Look at Me, World! Self-Portraits Morph Into Internet Movies"
I like to use some of the stories of gender, identity, and memory in my GWSS classes, like this one:
I have wanted to do some digital stories, or maybe even a documentary about my life for many years now, but I hate exposure. I guess on some level, I'll share enough on this blog (although a recent comment asked why I don't write much on here any more). Truth is, I was busy living life, and life's struggles, and didn't want to expose any more of pain while I was immersed in it.
I stayed up all night reading this:
This book is a memoir by Walt Jacobs, Chair of Af-Am, and one of my students at IFP. [I hope it's okay to share this detail. I'm guessing since you were willing to share your ghosts/ghostbox with the world, you wouldn't mind if it share our connection...] So Walt is learning how to use video to tell his [powerful] life stories. He found comfort in sharing the details of his talismans, while exposing his innermost thoughts, worries, idiosyncrasies, family secrets, and pain. This is not an easy thing to do.
As I (re)read the book from cover to cover [I'm not sure why I couldn't sleep last night], I thought about my own stories, my ghosts, my demons, and the stories I've kept bottled up inside. Maybe it's time to make my own ghostbox, and unleash the stories. Just need to find the courage...