Motivated by an internal frustration with cultural neglect of the self, this series reconsiders the role of solitude as a tool in personal development.
A study published in 2017 by the University of Rochester explored the implications of solitude on individuals as a form of self-regulation. The study found that the intention behind the solitude affected the individual’s ability to enjoy their time alone; autonomous motivation led to more productive introspection with a higher likelihood of continuing a solitary practice. Informed by the findings in this study, this series of black and white prints investigates the application of intended solitude as a form of introspection.
Having subjected myself to an isolated state without external stimulation (i.e., books, electronics, music, etc.) for twenty-four hours, in these images I chronicle the process of meditating on the idea of self. This series works within the conventions of self-portraiture, which, as a methodology, allows for an isolated examination or scrutinization of the self. Self-portraiture is a meditative process in which the artist must simultaneously perform two divided roles: the investigative photographer and the confronted subject. In self-portraiture, unlike the conventional photographer-to-subject relationship, both figures—photographer and subject—perform with full awareness of the other’s subjectivity and agency. The understanding of the subject then does not come through reading the images produced, but instead is partially unveiled through the duration of the solitary experience. To see an image of oneself does not reveal as much as seeing oneself being seen.