Sunday, 19 January 2014

Traces of Identity

For the person who makes a self_ portait, the face is the recognition of that's not seen. The "I" searches for traces of itself: thought earlier portraits, in mirrors, or in faces thet resemble it, family faces. Through empathy, the child reponds to the mother's smile; imitating her gesture, the child interprets the face of the person close at hand. Through empathy, when we take someone's picture, we project our own physiognomy onto their faces.
Every time I've photographed other faces they've seemed similar to mine; this was a accidental discovery, not something I searched for, and now I  have proposed to take it as my theme. I cannot photograph my face because I can't see my face. I have to resort to the traces of the others: I look al myself in the pictures others have made of me, in the mirror, or in the faces of others.
Two elements  define the identity of a face: the features and gestures.
These elements are interrelated: the movement involved in the gesture modifies the form of the features, and the features, in turn, limit the possible movements and gestures, which are summed up or reduced to the instant by the photograph.
Trace: the shadow in our dark side 1993

The face offered to the portraitst communitates, constructs its own self by itself, trasmits identity. In contrast, the face that confronts the camera as object (photographing itself, or submitting to the picture taken in an automatic booth) pays no attention to itself, but to mechanism.

Sex: The change of seasons affects us 1993
I define my identity though objects, though my relationship with them: I chosse them (I collect things that I find on the ground along the route I take daily, several times a day, on the way from my house to the laboratory where I develop my photographs). They project their meaning onto me. These things are whithout value, object converted into "materials" that are rescued by the fact that I chose them. Photographing them and including them in the contex of my self-portait allows me to see them in another way.

Face: We do not recognize our tracks, 1993

By showing our hand we show our identifying signs. Unlike my face, my hand is visible to me. However, I don't recognize its signs, authentic proof of identity. The palm of my hand joins together the signs of my identity and the signs of the passage of time.
I show the things I've collected with my hand, and the hands, in turn, are shown as objects (the hand, deprived of motion, showing itself). Rmoved from their usual contex, they acquire a symbolic value. Placed in a familiar setting, they become part of a concrete situation.

Place of our birth: The dream is what we see with eyes closed, 1993

Black space represents the invisible (in the theater, whatever the spectators are not supposed to see is paited black).
In my self-portaits the background area is the area without any sign, not imprinted. The background, even thought non-existent, acquiresweight.
Darkness creates closed spaces. It turns photography into a setting where a unique situation is revealed.


Self-portrait through the Narciso's eyes 1994
Project in the prison of Carabanchel.

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