Subconscious Mind and Its Influence on Photographers Representation of Themselves
Those are being encoded since we are born, firstly, through the actions of our parents. Most importantly, one of the problems related to repressed memory is, it also keeps the worse traumatic moments and emotions connected to it (Pert, 2000). Therefore, this essay seeks to explore the subconscious mind and its influence on the way photographers represent themselves through self-portraits by looking at research directions from the previous ten years. “Psychic trauma involves intense personal suffering” (Crauth, 1995). Personal suffering is one of the reasons which make artists and photographers create unique self-portraits inspired by their experiences. ” (Loewenthal 2013, 27) Reflecting upon the self-portraits and analyzing the self, keeping hidden parts inside has unconsciously been a cause of self-defeating and self-destruction system. “Woodman felt drawn to Surrealism, and she followed the movement's tradition of not explaining work.
” (Riding, 1998). Woodman subconsciously staged her death in her obscure and dramatic photographs, presenting herself as a ghost. Some photos instead showed her spirit being outside her body. Rather than make it appealing for others. Self-portraiture is a great exercise to become open-minded, it is a component of therapeutic growth. However, “self-portraiture is not often used as a tool by art therapists. ” (Muri 2007, 21), If a therapist uses it, they use it to enrich their knowledge and understanding on how the artists/photographer is using it to overcome and change their perception and experiences. In contrary, as shown in the paragraph above, self-portraiture can be a negative tool for certain people. After six months she was able to get her thoughts together and began a search into her current situation and different types of treatments.
Two years after the cancer shock, Spence started to phototherapy in collaboration with Rosy Martin showing a new form of representation through portrait therapy Spence had to control the image by representing her unexpressed feelings and difficulties she was facing. The principles of the treatment are that photographs should be “in confidential interaction, photographs and photographing function as impulses to memory and to recognizing and expressing emotions, thus promoting self-understanding of the client” (Loewenthal, D. 2013, p21. Spence presented her traumas, difficulties, and history such as a relationship with her mother, loneliness she faced as well as breaking the emotionally rooted pattern of eating. She used the camera as a tool to reflect on her emotional issues related to cancer, doctors, and hospital as well as gender and sexuality.
"Through phototherapy, I was able to explore how I felt about my powerlessness as a patient, my relationship to doctors and nurses, my infantilization while being managed and 'processed' within a state institution and my memories of my parents. " I also have made a series of self-portraits. The self-portraits were reflections of four of my different personas and emotional manifestations. In each photograph, I wanted to present how experiences from childhood influence my present life. In conclusion, subconscious and conscious traumas end up causing a psychological or physical pain. Photographers examine their own-selves and reflect upon their actions and emotions looking back at the images, using a camera as a tool to understand themselves their feelings and actions. Phototherapy is not about overcoming the trauma but instead accepting it, changing the systems already encoded in the subconscious mind and moving on.
Some artists and photographers tend to be more emotional, open-minded and sensitive therefore they follow their instinct while making self-portraits and deepening an understanding on the circumstances and actions that took place and reflecting upon it, going back to the past may also work in opposition to the phototherapy. Very long sentence there are many photographers as well as painters who documented and examined themselves, built a career and suddenly committed suicide, which is why self-portraits or self-directed portraits vary in style depending on the circumstances photographers work in. Psychoanalytic art and photography are a way to bring repressed conflicts to consciousness. Art entails showcasing the surface meaning as well as the deeper meaning of an aspect. When artist paint their image, they not only seek to show the image but goes as far as elaborating more on the image.
On the contrary, photography only entails the use of the camera to capture moments. Surrealist and photography differ in a way that surrealist specialize in capturing the moment and explaining various aspects which are not the case with photography. ”(Marstine, 2002). This article argues that self-portraiture may not resolve the nature of trauma. However, I will argue that self-portraiture within art and photography can ease the suffering and help to accept the fact and being able to cope with it. It’s a form of a therapy “response of knowing and of acting” (Caruth, 1995) which will open possibilities within the individual and society. Acknowledge truth and traumatic realities happening around the community and the world which bears witnesses. Surrealism requires that different artist paint different images within a single shape.
"Dali could be able to analyze his own 'paranoiac' observations and elucidations. An ideal precedent which speaks to what number of pictures are softened into one shape is Salvador Dali's depiction titled The Great Masturbator. Using surrealism, Dali could fuse more than one picture into one shape. In the book ‘The art and science of trauma’ an artist Michal Macku manipulates the images presenting a nude human body, very often using his image in his photographs. ’ (Is it more difficult for painters than photographers to express their self-persona, is it because they dig deeper through a more time-consuming way of expression) (Isolation) For many centuries now, an artist has made proper use of self-portrait as a unique means to get an intuitive insight about themselves.
Self-portraiture helps the artists to focus on understanding themselves without thinking of pleasing people. Thus self-portraiture gives the artist the power to be open and receptive to oneself, and this helps a great deal, and this is usually vital particularly concerning self-growth. Some of the artists apply the use of portrait to showcase the spiritual self and emotional self as well as the physical self. Self-portraiture has played a significant role in assisting the artist to step from experience and to reflect on some of the experiences they face equally. Focusing his art on what is now, reflecting on it. It seems like an endless circle where he was stuck in. “Gillespie’s self-portraits are often described as depicting a sense of melancholy.
In April 2000, Gregory Gillespie committed suicide. ”(Muri, 2007, 332). Hanes utilizes the self-portrait to assist clients to confront the painful realities of the addictive cycle. Postmodernism is a broad term used to describe many genres of art that have been popularized in the last two decades. MacGregor (1992) defined postmodern art as art that is constructed from social interactions and social issues. An important postmodern construct is that art has a connection to social issues as well as a depiction of the self (AlterMuri, 2003). In order to get a first-hand understanding of self-portraiture and its existence in the postmodern art world, I interviewed artists who focused on self-portraiture in their work. Now 75 years old, Yoshida’s Zen-influenced self-portraits include symbols of rebirth for a constant reexamination of the self (see Fig.
2) (M. Yoshida, personal communication, December 10, 2005). Other artists create self-portraits but deny that their art is actually a self-portrait. Cindy Sherman, a postmodern artist, creates art in which she is the main character. Clients can depict positive roles that emphasize the strong, healthy parts of themselves. Clients can be encouraged to create self-portraits in a non-realistic style that focuses on their understanding of the self rather than technical skills. References Caruth, C. Explorations in memory. Baltimore/London. (Ed. Phototherapy and therapeutic photography in a digital age. Routledge. Muri, S. A. D. , & Mayers, L. A. (2011, December). Psychoanalysis and art: Dialogues in the creative process. In International Forum of Psychoanalysis (Vol. 20, No. 4, pp. Taylor & Francis Group. Pedri, N. Walsh, M. Jo Spence: Work (Part I & II).
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