I never said I loved you


Photograph © J. Lowe 2009

marat  438

This blog is an evolving production of self portraits based on dreams and terrors, hopes and regrets, past and present.

I’ve been taking pictures of myself since I realised I could.

It is empowering and at the same time disarming to photograph oneself.  I wonder after the event, why did I do that, what was I thinking, does it mean anything?  My self portraiture is random.  But it is also studied.  Who doesn’t look at themselves and wonder who the fuck they are?  I’m this and that and nobody and somebody and after all an object to anyone who views me.   So, I look at me as an object and make of it what I feel at the time.  It has background and meaning, signifiers and codes but most of all it’s me picturing myself in front of the camera at that moment in time.  What am I trying to say?  I’m saying a whole lot I’m sure (and much of that is mine) but mostly I am taking pictures of myself that place me in the world,  my world, really the only world.  Who else can do it?

The photograph above is a complex image for me.  I made it not really knowing why at the time, apart from the fact that I really liked the painting of Marat by Jean Louis David.  When I think now about that time in my life when the photograph was made, my father was desperately ill. He got to see the photograph and made the comment, “there is something radical about that”.  I had to look up the definition of radical, not because I didn’t know the definition but because I knew his definition would be particular.

He died before I could ask him what he meant particularly.

Johanna Brannan Lowe 2009.


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