Week 44 - 2016

Travel in Time and Space

© Thera Mjaaland, Self-portrait by the Red Sea II, Forro, Eritrea 1996, C-print. Property of the Preus Museum collection.

Travel in Time and Space

What must happen for the photograph of a face to move from the private realm to the public?

Her self-portrait project has occupied Thera Mjaaland across more than three decades. She explores the boundaries of photographic representation by resisting the temptation to turn herself into a photograph.

She also plays with the ingrained notion that the self of a person can emerge in a photograph. The blurring makes the indications of aging less obvious without retouching them away. At the same time the very blurring makes it possible to distance the image of the face from the person and open ways for others to project their thoughts and feelings into it.

The self-portraits have followed the artist and social anthropologist on her travels, thus also making the place important. So the place referred to in the title can link the self-portraits to emerging collective stories about being a person in the world at a particular time.