Comment: Argues that the automatism inherent in the production of a photograph has made it possible for artists to extend the tradition of self-portraiture in a way that is radically different from previous visual arts. Demonstrates that automatism need not stand in competition or conflict with artistic agency.
Artworks to use with this text:
Ilse Bing, Self-portrait with Leica (1931)
It is usual for portraits to show a person's head either in profile or in a frontal position, but this self-portrait shows both alternatives simultaneously. It also depicts the presence of two mirrors in such a way that we are in a position to judge that the camera has recorded its own reflection. Thus, we see both the face of the artist and the "face" of the camera: it is a double self-portrait.