2 films
There was nobody there to see me but my camera...
- Arno Rafael Minkkinen
DK2R Team

"Self-photography" is a fascinating term. We're not talking about arm's-length selfies, or indeed self-portraiture, originally a pictorial genre. In a self-portrait the painter represents him/herself, often relying on the image to convey something meaningful about themselves.

But modernity has moved on from worn-out "windows-of-the-soul" concepts. Now the artist's entire body comes into the picture. For example, in the works of ORLAN, the ageing body of John Coplans, Molinier's body-fantasy, or the human landscapes of Arno Rafael Minkkinen. No longer do artists say, "Look how cute/crazy I AM!" The romantic notion of the individual "revealing their soul" pales against a useful body. The artist's body is now used as raw material, political tool, visual game object or means of representing death...

"So where do selfies fit in?" you may ask. Maybe the digital i-Empire is behind The Ego has Landed Again... but that's another question entirely!

Films on the theme

Still Not There, Arno Rafael Minkkinen

Nude, natural, and nuanced: The art of Arno Rafael Minkkinen.

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Still Not There | Arno Rafael Minkkinen : The Nature of the Intimate

Arno Rafael Minkkinen : The Nature of the Intimate

This film will introduce you to an unusual way of photographing yourself. Arno Rafael Minkkinen doesn't just show off his body, he plays with it. He plays with the landscape, with his nudity, with disappearance.

In the middle of the Finnish fjords, he frees himself from all connection with his time. The body, always his, naked as the day he was born, as naked as on the day of judgment, has fun among grandiose nature and brings out an abstraction of the intimate. 

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Pierre Molinier | The Legs of the Saint-Pierre Quarter

Exploring the daring and transgressive works of Pierre Molinier.

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The Legs of the Saint-Pierre Quarter | Pierre Molinier: The disobedient body.

This film reveals the escapades of Pierre Molinier, an artist who would use his body in multiple ways to violate the established order and proclaim his freedom. He played with death by photographing himself on his bed, recumbent, and twenty years later by ending his life identically.

He also confounded the codes of society of the time by photographing himself naked, wearing stockings and suspenders, with dolls and makeup, cutting out and gluing his legs and extravagant fantasies.

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To Read


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• ARNO MINKKINEN, BODY LAND - artist and author: Arno Minkkinen ; 1999 ; Smithsonian Books 

• PIERRE MOLINIER - author: Jean-Luc Mercier ; 2010 ; edited by Jean-Luc Mercier at Les presses du réel ; translation by Edward Penwarden

• AUTOPORTRAITS DE PHOTOGRAPHES PHOTO POCHE #119 - various artists ; author: Cordie Levy ; 2009 ; Centre National de la Photographie ; French

• AUTO FOCUS - THE SELF-PORTRAIT IN CONTEMPORARY PHOTOGRAPHY - author: Susan Bright ; 2010 ; Thames & Hudson Ltd

• THE BODY: PHOTOWORKS OF THE HUMAN FORM - author: Willian A. Ewing ; 1994 ; Thames & Hudson Ltd

• ORLAN - collective book ; 2004 ; Flammarion editions ; French

• A BODY - artist: John Coplans ; 2002 ; Powerhouse Books