Self-portrait is, from various impulses, a common motive of artists through the history of art; however, the expansion of the production of self-representation in visual arts develops in parallel with the change of different social communities towards individuality and identity. New communication networks, dominant in the new millennium, give different dimensions to self-portraits as a form of self-representation, that break down, and again and anew create a form of traditional artistic expression, in the same way that, in the everyday “online” life they disintegrate and create every human being, depending on the motivations from which the individual is accessed.
Referring to such communication processes, Natalija Simeonović is performing visual essays about contemporary individuality, identity and self-representation through a series of works in the exhibition of Face- Once Mine (17-29 September) presented in a small, but in its program highly purified Bartelsona photographic gallery. Using methods dominant in the public online sphere, she concisely problematizes the process of representing one’s own face by combining different visual references – from Roman posthumous masks, as a suggestion for the presentation of deceased, golden masks of old cultures as a reflection of social strength, power and glare of persons for whom they were made,from17th century engravings to contemporary print media deprived of any form of consideration. Realizing her own group of self-portraits, the artist talks about the ways in which the Me disappears in the processes of struggle for life, and against illnesses, about the awareness of one’s own disintegration and suffering, about the sexual being, about the different enrollments of everybody in everyone’s identity, about the struggle to preserve individuality in spite of all, and about the deceptive but also elusive representation of the beauty that is always joined by those who are ready for”adaptation and transformation.” However, in this confusion of visual data, emotionally and visually the most impressive and overpowering is the plain authentic self-portrait.
Translation : N.Simeonovic