Francesca Woodman

Woodman’s oeuvre of self-representation, dismemberment/segmentation of the female body, and images of the body in time appeal to me.  The usage of mirrors in Woodman’s work and illusion of dismemberment -using simple hiding/reveal techniques…

The evolution of self-representation in photography is fascinating to explore through history and i wish to further study. How many of these artists used character or extremism for it to be considered ’high art’? Cindy Sherman, Claude Cahuns, Mona Hatoum’s semiotics. The history of photography self-portraiture seems riddled with character building and constructed identities. Also, the tie between photographic self-portraiture and mirrors is inherent. Is it an intrinsically female link to be photographed with/through a mirror, as they are looking at themselves anyway? 

More importantly today, what is the difference between the self-portrait and the selfie? I feel that the selfie is considered low brow, ubiquitous digital feed fodder, whereas the carefully composed self-portraiture is “an occasion for the artist to construct her representation through her own medium, be it a camera or a paintbrush or what have you. It’s an opportunity to declare who you are visually and who you aspire to be.”

I think that ‘high art’ always looks down on something that it doesn’t understand, until someone radicalises it and brings it to the forefront of culture in an exciting way, that overrides the existing norms.  It just seems to me that all throughout history, the high art world doesn’t like the actual interesting art made at grass roots level until the person dies or popularity/interest overrides the system.