My last post covered a broad array of ideas and considerations for the approach to this assignment. The most vital aspect of the series is the narrative, and how I intend to communicate it. To that end, I’ve tried to articulate the 3 ideas that I’ve had for achieving my intent, which as a reminder was:
To create a series of Self-Portraits that document/narrate my current body image in order to help drive a change in my approach to health & fitness. This will be achieved by creating a series of confrontational, honest photographs that will act as a visual and psychological stimulus.
As before, I’ve used a mind-map as it helps me to focus on the details (click for larger image).
Idea 1: Contradiction.
This idea came as a bit of an epiphany. I’m currently doing a 366 project on Flickr which is just for fun. Whilst out for a run a few days ago, I was trying to take a Selfie with my mobile phone (which I use for tracking my runs). It occurred to me that we often live a contradictory double life. We post egotistical, narcissistic images on social media, creating a perception of happiness and perfection amongst our friends, families and online followers. Secretly, I feel I’ve been doing this with my 366 project, which has almost become a bit of a photographic diary. But the truth is often not so forthcoming. It’s all well and good me posting selfies or ‘late photographs’ post run, but the truth be told, I’m unfit and overweight and suffer from Negative Body Image. Could a series of contradictions, the Ideal self vs the Real self work? Perhaps juxtapositions of the contrasts in a book format? Or the creation of contradictory social media profiles? I think that this idea may be worth exploring further in line with the work of Charles Latham or Amelia Ulman (whom I’ve just discovered).
Idea 2: Shame/Guilt.
Inspired by Lathams image; Same Old Shit (cited in research post), I’m drawn towards the idea of playing with the emotions surrounding my body image. Rather than suppress the guilt and shame of eating/drinking too much and not doing enough exercise, I need to confront them. This could provide just the stumuli I need, and could also produce some thought provoking photographs.
Idea 3: Brutal Honesty.
This was my original idea and is the one that I keep coming back to. Simple, Confrontational, Honest photographs of my worst bits, and the things I need to change. I like simplicity in a photograph but am worried that I may not be challenging myself enough (creatively) with a series like this.
I’m going to take some time to think about my options and perhaps do some experimenting with each of the ideas. Who knows where it may take me.