On self-representation

Milan in the mirror

Every photographer understands the impetus behind the self-portrait: not some formal tripod and time-delay creation, but the quasi-accidental inclusion of oneself in a composition, in the form of a shadow, perhaps, or a reflection.

Photography is a curious art-form, for many reasons. Unlike most forms of artistic representation, it requires relatively little ability to translate sight into the moment of a hand. Instead, it required just one firm touch upon a button, under conditions that are recognized as being correct. The difficulty of affirming the originality of that act may partially explain the motivation behind the photographer’s self-portrait.

Mostly, however, I think of it as a playful interchange between photographer and observer. Whereas the two are normally in a conspiracy with regards to the subject (at the same time as the photographer and the subject are in conspiracy against the observer), in this case, there is a kind of simultaneous mutual revealing, which is very artistically and emotively interesting.

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

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