Reflection

reflectionLately I’ve come across quite a few photography projects which deal with peoples’ perception of themselves, and how this can change over time.

Julian Wolkenstein explores facial symmetry by shooting face-to-camera portraits, splitting them in two and then flipping them horizontally. He then presents us with two separate and symmetrical versions which he lets us compare.

Irna Werning in turn invites people to go back ’to their future’ by recreating her friends and familys old photographs and bringing them to life again.

And finally, Moa Karlberg takes peoples portrait through a mirror when they are completely unaware of the camera inside, capturing the way they watch themselves.

While Wolkenstein reminds us the complexity of our faces, Werning shows how our character appears to remain throughout aging. It was Karlberg’s photographs that affected me the most, how people seem to look at themselves with contempt when meeting their own gaze in the mirror – the disappointment of not seeing what they remembered.

The fascination of ones own self is something which has always puzzled me. People never seem to get used to their own reflection, they have the capacity to consider one photograph of themself as a better portrayal than another, and are unable to ever see themself in the same way that other people do. I think what I am trying to say is that the visual representation of yourself is forever changing in a quite uncontrollable manner, while your character is quite solid and slowly being refined. And then, when your body has finally faded away and your presence is no longer to be found, what is to be remembered is people’s understanding of you. An understanding which may vary massively and probably seldom mirror the one you had been trying to put your finger on throughout your life. This in turn, reminds us about the importance of always acting towards others the way you best want to reflect and remember yourself. This will sound cheesy, but keep it real.

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