a little more information than you need to know

2 parallel journals, updated every day
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daily bread
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the other side

fast forward 30 years

daily self portraits and (not so) random thoughts

Monday, August 31, 2009

8.31.09 - 365/365

in the studio all of a sudden, it came into my head to do a nude for my last 365.
it is one of my studio rules:
"if you think of it, you do it"
(which is exactly how i got into this mess in the first place)
i only have 2 (rules), the other is:
"don't judge the process while you are in it"

and,
since one of the reasons for doing this project
was to confront what it means to become a "woman of a certain age",
this feels appropriate and perhaps even necessary.

as the 365th day got closer,
it became increasingly clear how meaningful this project has been for me
and why it will be so hard to replace...

as many people reading this blog know
(are there many people reading this blog?)
daily practice is the cornerstone of my creative life

at this moment
i am feeling a tremendous pull
a real sense of something ending
something that is valuable to me
that i don't want to lose

i have been trying to identify exactly what that is,
what sets fastforward30years apart from my other daily work;
one factor is the (almost) daily writing (introspection),
but i have always had an outlet for that with my fotolae.
another aspect is that i have been able to incorporate monthly mini-projects
within the context of this larger one
(my favorites being march's diptychs and may's studio drawings)
but i believe
the true significance of this project
lies in using the self as subject matter.

no matter the medium,
i subscribe to the theory
that to produce something of value
requires a deep caring
and a deep connection,
and there are very few things in a person's life
that hold a greater or more meaningful position than the self,
that is why it is said;
all first novels are autobiographical
and
you can't love/trust/care about others
more than you have the capacity for those feelings about yourself

so,
while taking a picture a day is a good exercise
taking a self portrait a day
forces you to continually engage with loaded subject matter.
if you compromise, you compromise yourself
if you take a short cut, you cheat yourself
and you are doing it publicly

i also believe that parameters are good for creativity
and the limits of "self portrait" have some inherent advantages:
for one thing
your subject matter is always available,
where ever you happen to be,
another
is that boredom can be a great motivator for taking risks;
& believe you me, nothing becomes boring more quickly than you
hence a great impetus for pushing boundaries.
and
you can apply just about any approach to the subject:
you can be yourself or you can be other,
you can be deeply personal or coldly objective,
you can create fantasy or describe reality,
you can take a strictly conceptual approach or flow with your emotions...

kind of perfect,
kind of hard to replace,
i have toyed with the idea of keeping it going for another year
and if my medium was solely photography, i might
but i feel i need to take what i've learned and move forward,
tomorrow i will post the next step in this journey

thanks for tuning in
and special thanks to fernando and l3iLL
who have been so generous with their comments and support.

7 comments:

SeLFs said...

MAN!{={iN thE excLaMaToRy senSe}}
oR raTheR=reaLLy-' W o m a N.'..
Or eVeN "GiRL!"!! {iN The vernacuLar}
WoW..anYwaY
ThiS sCoReS biG iN/oN thE NOT BoRinG froNT
oBviousLy thiS defiNeS SeLF PortraiT..
BaRe/NaKeD iS _TRUTH =
NothiNG HiDDeN/ nO LieS..
''''fast forward 30 years''' iN FuLL GLoRY aNd GraCe


"you can't love/trust/care about others
more than you have the capacity for those feelings about yourself"
+ thiS i beLieVe wiTh aLL mY hearT, miNd aNd SouL.
§
WhaTeVeR coMeS NexT ??
anoTheR 30 yearS oF SiMiLaR =GOD wiLLiNg!

Happy_Peasant said...

Happy_Peasant here. I figured for day 365 I could try and sign in here to congratulate you where you do the words. Nice picture, and nice little essay. Which I will remember when I end mine. While reading yours I was thinking you should do another year if you feel that way, then got to the end where you said why you would not. And now look forward to seeing what you do next. And wondering if it will be something flickerites can see. Good luck with it whatever it is.

linda said...

j'ai beaucoup d'admiration pour la femme et l'artiste que tu es..

g_z said...

:**

keep on keeping up
why not?

Leslie Avon Miller said...

Neeme: I have just found your blog - that day after you complete your project! Congratulations! I am looking forward to going back in time and looking at each post. It is amazing to start at the end- the stark honesty is striking.
Yesterday I decided that I paint to say "I am here." And while there are many variations and themes for my different series, at the heart of it they are all about "I am here."
As a women of a certain age, I see in most of us a calling forth, and the ability to work work from the gut. Thank you for sharing this work of yours.

Luisa said...

En effet, this was the only way to end such an honest project. Congratulations, my friend.

Egmont van Dyck said...

I only came upon your site by accident and just as you have completed the project. I still need to start at the beginning but but at the moment I cannot, you have given me much to ponder upon.

I congratulate you on you willingness to stand disrobed before us. I now see how powerful this is, for almost four years ago I did the same. It was taken in the hospital a few days after my open heart surgery. I still have a hard time looking at the image.

Our expressions are similar in some ways, as if saying here we are and we have nothing to hide. But hidden within our eyes is reflected the vulnerability we all posses.

Self-portraits are very powerful, especially when one looks directly into the camera with a fixed gaze.

I want to express more but my thoughts are forcing me into a deeper pool . . .

Return I shall if only to continue upon your journey.

Thank you