My Self, the Fetus
Live-performance + polaroid archive + residue installation
Duration: 5 hours
My Self, the Fetus has meant the start of researching the Self and the identification process, now existing of 5 parts, and arose from the convention of “just being yourself”. Because, what does that actually mean and contain: just being yourself?
The recognition of who we are is defined by our self-conscience as it is defined by ‘the Other.’ The start of our identification process means decreasing the sense of self. As poet Arthur Rimbaud sharply stated: “Je est un autre” – the I is someone else / I am someone else – the I is created through other people’s view. Throughout our lives, after we’ve lost this self, we will be constantly performing [other people’s vision on/of us]. An insight occurred: in the current society a human being can only have a sense of self when the identification process has not yet started, and therefore when there is no self-consciousness yet.
This research was translated into a durational live performance and installation in which the artist lies down in fetal position with the body covered in a material that evolves from liquid to fixed to cracked within the time frame of 5 hours. This represents the decreasing of the self while other people’s vision takes over. The left-over skin – the residue – which is peeled off at the end of the 5-hour long performance, is the representation of this. The polaroid is the digital rendition of this personal artefact.
The essence of the polaroid as a means coincides beautifully with that, because the further development of the image never stops. The polaroid as an analog language will always be liquid.
Writer and poet Justin Samgar wrote a poem especially for this work.
My Self, the Fetus at ArtDeli, Amsterdam, NL
© Photography and polaroids by Marieke Gras
© Lisette Ros