3. Rework

[22May20] Tutor feedback suggested expanding on some of the ideas mentioned in the submission text and perhaps creating a small magazine (which I might call a pamphlet). This will take some time so I will undertake it separately and so I will undertake it separately. Regarding the images, it was suggested that it should be easier to see the originals and my versions together and so I will repeat them here.

The original text is on the submission page: I will add a few notes here and eschew formal referencing. I might use a similar format in the pamphlet, following an extended essay (1,00+ words?) on self portraiture covering the selfie / s-p divide, authorship, performance and my theory of the disparity of m/f approaches to the genre. Gazes should get a mention.

Sources and outcomes

Asg 3
1. The sources © the artists, their agents or their estates
2. The outcomes.

after Bill Brandt

after Laelia Goehr's 1945 portrait of Bill Brandt
1. self portrait after Laelia Goehr’s 1945 portrait of Bill Brandt, March 2020
2. Bill Brandt, portrait by Laelia Goehr, 1945

I had mistaken Brandt’s for a mirror self portrait. When I learned that it was taken by Laelia Goehr, I nevertheless left it in the planned shoots, arguing briefly that authorship might remain with the subject irrespective of who released the shutter and citing Cindy Sherman and Tracey Emin. This notion will be expanded upon in the pamphlet.

Brandt is holding a ‘Kodak Wide Angle Camera … used by police for recording crime scenes’ (Greg Neville, 2015). He described its acquisition in Camera in London (1948),

One day in a secondhand shop, near Covent Garden, I found a 70-year-old wooden Kodak. I was delighted. Like nineteenth-century cameras it had no shutter, and the wide-angle lens, with an aperture as minute as a pinhole, was focused on infinity.

Brandt, A Statement on Photography, 1948

What I’m holding is a photograph of just such a camera from an image kindly provided by Antiq Photo, Paris stuck on cardboard. At the time of writing it is still on sale for €3,500.

This is the most successful of the images (my tutor agreed).

after Manuel Álvarez Bravo

after Manuel Álvarez Bravo
1. self portrait after undated Manuel Álvarez Bravo self portrait, April 2020
2. Manuel Álvarez Bravo, self portrait, n.d.

This was the least pleasing and least successful of the series. This is not unconnected with the fact that it is the least inspiring source. It is a prime example of my male self-portait gaze (see a mirror, take a snap) theory which is explored in the zine. Impulsive but, in this case, mundane.

after Stanley Kubrick

sp after Kubrick
1. self portrait after 1949 Stanley Kubrick, self portrait, March 2020
2. Stanley Kubrick, self portrait, 1949

after Willy Ronis

after Ronis
1. self portrait after Willy Ronis, ‘Autoportrait aux flashes’, 1951, April 2020
2. Willy Ronis, Autoportrait aux flashes, 1951

after Ilse Bing

1. EyV Retrospective self portrait with Fuji after Ilse Bing, June 2019
2. Ilse Bing Self portrait with Leica, 1931

Note for plagiarism hunters: this was taken during EyV and was omitted from the assignment as a subject for that reason. It is being included here because I intend to put in in the zine.

after Richard Avedon

1. self portrait with Keir Starmer after Richard Avedon’s ‘self-portrait with James Baldwin’, 1964, March 2020
2. Richard Avedon self-portrait with James Baldwin, 1964
3. Props

This was a relatively late find and inclusion for the project. Fun with masks. Difficult to take a photograph deliberately and ‘correctly’ of focus. I should have taken it normally and added the focus artificially.

after Vivian Maier

Perhaps Maier’s finest self portrait was #1. As Sylvie Weil describes in Selfies (2015), although it appears at first glance to be a chance encounter snap, it must have involved considerable effort, not to mention co-operation from the second subject.

It was only after submitting the assignment that I found this specific Maier self portrait, fig.3: I was aware of many such examples but had not recalled the hat. It was taken on impulse: I first saw the bird’s wing which on the way to Sainsbury’s, photographed it, and then realised that my shadow was available.

I submitted fig.2 for the assignment because of virus restrictions and had always intended to work on a response to fig. 4 which I had seen quite recently at the Huxley-Parlour Gallery.


americansuburbx.com (2011) Bill Brandt: A Statement on Photography (1948) [online]. americansuburbx.com. Available from https://americansuburbx.com/2011/04/bill-brandt-statement-on-photography.html [Accessed 19 May 2020].

antiq-photo.com (2020) Wide angle KODAK View Camera / Bill Brandt [online]. antiq-photo.com. Available from https://www.antiq-photo.com/en/collections/museum/cameras/large-format-cameras/wide-angle-kodak-view-camera-bill-brandt/ [Accessed 23 February 2020].

Neville, G. (2015) Bill Brandt’s camera [online]. greg-neville.com. Available from https://greg-neville.com/2015/10/26/bill-brandts-camera/ [Accessed 22 May 2020].

Weil, S. (2015) Selfies. Translated by R. Schwarz, 2019. London: Les Fugitives.