Self-portraiture and future: an examination of a photographer's creative identity

Barbosa, L 2011, Self-portraiture and future: an examination of a photographer's creative identity, Masters by Research, Media and Communication, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Self-portraiture and future: an examination of a photographer's creative identity
Author(s) Barbosa, L
Year 2011
Abstract “Self-portraiture and future: an examination of a photographer’s identity” is a study of the genre of self-portraiture as a mode of creative reflective practice within the field of photography.

This thesis aligns theories of photography, art, art therapy and psychology to constitute a multidimensional dialogue around representation, imagination and transformation – as it relates to self-portraiture as a mode of creative reflective practice.

The thesis locates the necessary definitions for the genre of self-portraiture within art history and criticism. It reflects on the theories of representation that enable a study of meaning for photographic self-portraits from the point of view of reception. The thesis also refers to literature that advances the value of the practice of self-portraiture for the photographer, from the point of view of production.

The thesis posits that therapeutic photography can be considered a framework of practice, by establishing self-knowledge as essential in the development of one’s creative identity. This assertion is supported by a theory of the performative, whereby photographer acquires a triple role (author, subject and spectator of himself), thus dynamically exchanging between creating, being and looking. This complete experience of the photographic medium is said to have transformative potential as it nurtures a process of gaining awareness of how one creates technically and conceptually.

This character of transformative learning is further explored by developing photographic self-portraits that seek to develop the author’s visions of the future as intentional outcomes of creative practice. In order to achieve this, the author tentatively adopts a Jungian approach to her practice of self-portraiture; that is, the photographer is provided with a methodology that allows visions of future to emerge. By interacting with these visions on a mental level and through further establishing a photographic dialogue with the symbologies and emotions perceived in them through self-portraiture, the photographer reflects on her creative practice within a broader context of reflexive self-portraiture.

The researcher/photographer’s outcome asserts that self-portraiture as reflective practice, is a model of creative inquiry that should not be overlooked in the education of a photographer. It provides the photographer with tools that nurture the creative self through a spontaneous and personal process of experiencing the photographic medium.

The outcome implies that a reflective practice of self-portraiture focused on imagination is a valuable method of assessing the present and past, freeing one up to reclaim a desired future, which is a powerful tool that can promote transformation in our society.
Degree Masters by Research
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Media and Communication
Keyword(s) Self-portraiture
photography
creativity
identity
therapeutic photography
reflective practice
photography education
future
imagination
active imagination
Jung
representation
transformation
authenticity
art.
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Created: Thu, 28 Jun 2012, 16:23:10 EST by Guy Aron
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