This project is honestly consuming my soul.
At the end of my first module, which, as you remember was about reality and representation, I felt like doing something more personal in the next one. If you have read my previous post about this body of work I'm putting together at the moment, you may remember that at one point I mentioned trying to study a little psychoanalysis in the beginning. The reason why I did such an insane thing was because I considered the symbolism of the mind to be my point of view. Really quickly I realised that actually none of this inspired me at all in terms of photography so I happily let myself abandon that path. Simultaneously I forgot the going-more-personal part and started reading about feminism and female body in Western visual culture, and drifted away from where I'd initially wanted to go with this project.
Yesterday I spent some four hours processing my films and was faced with awful lot of difficulties - technical that is, but as the quality of the films didn't meet my own standards I literally felt that I'd chosen the wrong aspect and the wrong subject. I felt like there wasn't actually anything keeping my work together. I'm not used not getting what I expect out of my camera and this drawback really slapped me hard on the face.
We had a seminar where everyone got to talk about their project, ask and receive help from others.
I was nervous, unhappy and just wanted to get out but for some reason the rest of the group and our tutor seemed to be very excited about my work. While all I could see was a pile of blurry, dusty contact prints, other students pointed out many details they found interesting and encouraged me to carry on.
I started talking about the slightly wonky relationship I've always had with my body and how that's always something that makes me think about human form. At that point I realised what had been missing: personality. I'd wanted to do something very humane and personal but ended up struggling in big social and cultural themes - too big at this state, I should think.
So, now I was drawn back to my own reality.
My tutor asked me to photograph myself instead of using a model and when I answered him that I would like to but that I find it technically nearly impossible what with using a macro lens and a heavy camera, I realised myself that what's holding me back is once again myself - deferring me from doing things I'm insecure to do because they're difficult, doing something I know I can instead. Besides he had a very good point about the difficulty of photographing oneself: perhaps it's not such a bad thing to end up with a lot of blurred, out of focus and obscure shots for isn't that how we sometimes see ourselves anyway.
In fashion, advertising and film industry the idea of beautiful, sexy and attractive is descriptive and defined - exact. When that ideal becomes clearer and clearer in my head - the person, the body, the being I want to look like - the outlines of my own body dissolve. I can't see myself any more. When I look into a mirror, all I see is glimpses and details but the shape is undefinable. I don't fit in the mould that I've created for myself.
Unfortunately I can't show you what I've got so far in practice because I don't have a scanner and as I've mentioned a couple of times, I'm doing film now.
Nevertheless, casually photographing oneself naked for a few hours in the morning is an interesting way to spend time.
Also, congratulations if you understood anything of the ramble-feast above.