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the postmodern self-portrait (1 Viewer)


Senior Member
As usual, thoughts, comments, reviews, pointing out errors, and anything else are greatly appreciated.


the postmodern self-portrait: a hyperreality.

The Postmodern self-portrait: camera in hand, pointed at a mirror; perhaps there is a flash of light, a click, a whirr, a buzz; a photo is taken. Smiles gone from faces, lips pursed, and all elements of joy dissipated, a bland, meaningless self-portrait has been taken. In the frame a camera is visible, unafraid to make its presence known; it is both an affirmation and a deconstruction of reality; it is the creation a portrait of a self-portrait.

The Postmodern self-portrait is taken from the view of a third-party, it portrays truth from only one view. Supposedly nuetral, the self-portrait is a hyperreality -- the subject of the photograph is detached from reality. In attempting to create something that feels much more real than a traditional portrait, it becomes hyperreal -- "The authentic fake," as Umberto Eco said.

The Postmodern self-portrait is posted on the immense hyperreality that we know as the internet; the hyperreality of the portrait is extended. No longer is this merely a portrait of a friend or loved one, it is a composition of bits describing a person you may have never seen. It is, in essence, like a dream world: there is no confirmation that any of it is real, that anybody is who they claim to be.

The Postmodern self-portrait is, in essence, an attempt to combat the hyperreality of the internet, to transform it into a much more real place, to confirm their own reality. In doing so, the hyperreality of the internet is enhanced, expanded into something greater and more powerful. This is in part due to the nature of our culture and the hyperreality it presents; it is inevitable that vague attempts at confirming reality would only support this simulation.

The Postmodern self-portrait is similar to a Las Vegas casino, each supporting a different hyperreality. The primary purpose of each is the same -- support a constructed reality. The Postmodern self-portrait supports the hyperreality of an individual, a casino supports the hyperreality of the environment as a whole. When stepping foot into a casino, one's perceived reality is altered; the perception of time is lost along with a sense of self-awareness. The constructed hyperreality of a casino is not dissimilar to the constructed hyperreality of Disneyland or other amusement parks.

The Postmodern self-portrait is a representation of greater socially constructed hyperrealities: it is a harrowing sign that the cultural hyperreality in which many of us reside is growing; it is becoming the all-encompassing construction. It is growing ever necessary to take the occasional bow into reality, to step away from the mirror, put the camera away, and live.

Matthew Montgomery


Senior Member
where.... do... you... come... up... with... this... stuff...

marry me.


insightful. somewhat beautiful, somewhat not.

so true.

*shame at fact she has done it*


I love it! This is one of the better things I've read on this forum. ^_^