The Dark Room Gallery. Essex, Vermont. USA
Self as subject, one's uniqueness in scope, portraiture by design.
"Seity" is an uncommon word which, as defined by Webster, is "A quality peculiar to oneself; selfhood; individuality". It could be seen as the essential quality of the true self-portrait: an expression of what makes the subject unique and defines her/his character in some way. This does not imply an exact replication of the photographer's appearance. Rather, it goes below the surface to reveal something of the essence of the photographer's psyche. An example would be the self portraits of Chuck Close, which provide an uncanny and discomfiting glimpse into his psyche. Self portraits do not have to represent objective outer reality; consider the photos of Cindy Sherman, none of which "look like her" but all have a relationship to some facet of her selfless, her seity.
In this age of the ubiquitous throwaway selfie it's an even greater and more worthwhile challenge to create a self portrait that expresses one's uniqueness and individuality. And that's the challenge we're putting forth for this exhibition: to present an image that defines an aspect of your true essence.