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The curated ego

Photo op by kennardphillipps

Photo credit: kennardphillipps

16 JAN 2014

7pm – 8.30pm


Join studioSTRIKE at the National Portrait Gallery for a panel discussion bringing together leading academics and artists alongside presentations from emerging and established lens-based artists investigating questions around self-portraiture and personal identity.


Philosophers have often linked personal identity to memory: it is suggested that we continue to be the same person as long as our memory with past events persist. But are memories unchanging, or even objective accounts of our experience that are stored in a glass bell? Or can memories be curated to fit a desirable image of the self?


The Russian Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna was one of the first teenagers to take a selfie in 1914 when she was just 13, whilst almost half a century earlier, the Countess di Castiglione was already exploring significant moments in her life, as well as fantasies, by directing her own portrait photographs. Ever since, the selfie evolved into the most prolific photographic trend of our time, making the Oxford English Dictionary to select it as the word of 2013, an emblem of the zeitgeist.


Improvements to technology allow us to take and retake selfies with minimum effort until we are satisfied with the result, thus adding to a bundle of representations of a desired self, narratives and roles. In turn, the casual snap shot-aesthetic of selfies makes all these narratives look more believable and easier to identify with, not least for the sitter/author. This event aims to explore self-portraiture as a memory-making process and integrate it within the framework of the psychological theories of the metaphysics of personal identity. It will look at the way in which the self and self-perception can be constructed or altered through the use of the photographic image.


Two emerging artists will also be selected to showcase their work alongside the expert panel. For more details on how to enter the open call click here.


The panel will be chaired by Annebella Pollen Senior Lecturer in the History of Art and Design, Director of Historical and Critical studies for the Faculty of Art at University of Brighton and Trustee of the Design History Society.


Panelists include:


Rosy Martin, Photographer, writer, lecturer and psychological therapist will present work from her career spanning 30 years.


James Kilner, Senior Lecturer in Human Motor Neurosciences, University College London.


Dr Eugenie Shinkle, Senior Lecturer in Photographic Theory and Criticism at The University of Westminster.


Paul Snowdon, Professor of the Philosophy of Mind and Logic, University College London.


The event has been curated by two members of studioSTRIKE, artist Sarah Howe and Mihnea Chiujdea, who is affiliated with the Philosophy Department at University College London.


This event is free to attend but seats are limited.