From Francesca Woodman and the Mirror Stage
In Douglas Crimp’s article the Photographic Activity of Postmodernism there are several terms that have been brought up over and over again. Presence is one of them, “presence that is only through the absence that we know to be the condition of representation.” It reminds me of one of my favorite photographers --- Francesca Woodman. She once said that “I allow you to see what you couldn’t see --- the inner force of one’s body.” She recreates a space that is simulating the relationship between the infant (the subject) and the mother’s body. The child was safe and content before the alienation, but a sense of lost and insecurity occurs after leaving the mother’s inner.
Some scholars like Margaret Sundell in her essay "Vanishing Points: The Photography of Francesca Woodman" interpret Woodman’s self-portraiture through Jacques Lacan’s “mirror stage” theory. The infant first saw his or her own image through the mother’s eye, he or she could not tell yet that is the reflection of oneself but to consider it an actual unit to treat. The infant synthesizes the subject with the imagery. After the realization have been found out, he or she understand the image in the mirror is her own self as a whole, the infant will overjoy in jubilation. The narcissism of self-identification comes afterwards, which is the period of time everyone’s primary identification come into being in early stage.
The image also gives tension to the infant, the fact that she is the fragmentation. The formation of herself came from the misunderstanding (méconnaissance) and misrecognition. The ego is based on the imaginary: the infant identified herself from the mirror, from a place that is not “herself.’ She internalizes the imagery as an ideal self, and permanently captivated by it throughout the lifetime. Once the infant understands herself as a whole from the mirror, she at the same time realizes herself as a...
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