Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Ready for my Close-up

In her preface to Robert Mapplethorpe's Certain People, Susan Sontag wrote:

'When I am photographed, this normally outgoing, fervent relation of consciousness to the world is jammed. I yield to another command station of consciousness, which "faces" me...Stowed away, berthed, brought to heel, my consciousness has abdicated its normal function...I don't feel threatened. But I do feel disarmed, my consciousness reduced to an embarrassed knot of self-consciousness striving for composure...I experience myself as behind my face, looking out through the windows of my eyes, like the prisoner in the iron mask in Dumas's novel.'

Yesterday, I had to have myself photographed for an article about my plinth appearance. And while I'm not sure it was exactly as nerve-wracking an experience for me as it was for Sontag, it was, I'll admit, a little embarrassing. I can be pretty good in a performance context, I like to think, but sitting down, looking at a camera and, well, posing...I found that a lot harder than I'd imagined. It's probably safe to say I have a new-found respect for models.

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