Week 6 – Lecture Notes

‘There is, in my opinion, only one conclusion that may be drawn from the idea that the self is not given to us: we must create ourselves as work of art.’ – Michel Foucault


‘Importers, Impressionists & Fakes’

  • notion of self are fantasies;
  • Marina Abramovic (sat, starred at people in the gallery);
  • Cindy Sherman – ‘Bus Riders’ series: series from late college years, ‘untitled film stills’ – most famous, limited props & provisional – studio work;
  • Sophie Calle – conceptual artist, investigating common experiences, vulnerable, documentary performance photography – staged documentary, ‘The Shadow’: hired private detective (by mother), without him knowing it was planned by her, final: detective’s reports and her personal journal, emerges as a shadow in the photographs;

‘Appropriation and Self-performance’

  • Jack Pierson – ‘Self Portrait’: 15 images of men, found images, metaphorical symbols as universal beings, cultural construction of an individual;
  • Marcel Duchamp – alter ego created (Rrose Selavy), images taken by Man Ray, glamorous & conceptual;
  • Richard Prince – pre-modern work, ‘Untitled’ -the men looking in the same direction, look like American ads in early 70s/ late 60s (aesthetics), celebrity images next to ‘unknown people’ – images from instagram (commented under the photographs he liked, screenshotted and printed as his own art work;
  • Erica Scourti – ‘Body Scan (excerpt)’: used her own body, used an app (image recognition app), body photographs linked strongly (by the app) to pornography (google search) which links to today’s representation of one’s identity, animated series of still images, ‘So Like You’– collection of her own photographs & used google search to link other images, found the original uploader, emailed them to ask for more photos from the archives that would link with her images;
  • Amalia Ulman – intimate & revealing representation of oneself, ‘selfie’ project based on instragram aesthetics, staged instagram posts, excessive & believable images, creating a brand of oneself through social media, allienation, community, appearance, our relationship with technology and importance of our ‘fake, ideal self’ represented on the internet;

‘Self-portraiture and Performance’

  • Melanie Bonajo ‘Furniture Bondage’: focus on how domestic life creates our identity, nude figure & disposable objects, dream of burning everything she owns – inspiration (do we really need the everyday objects we believe we need?), conceptualised yet simple;
  • Francesca Woodman;



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