Identity and Representation

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  • This powerpoint will be made available both through slideshare, an online…and as a pdf. Intentionally included quite a bit of text on the slides to help as an aid memoire.

    So today’s theme is Identity. Under the rubric of this term there is a multitude of areas we can examine. For instance: What is identity? How is it created, defined, changed? How is identity articulated and represented?

    Identity really is a complex concept, and the fact that its limited by hardly anything, makes it so broad that it is necessary to separate it into more manageable segments.

    Notably, our ideas related to identity have changed over the years.
    Compared to the assigning of identity upon individuals in the historical modern age, identity has become increasingly difficult to secure as a solid construction.
    For example think of the changes in social identity from a feudal system where each of us have our place to our contemporary socially mobile society.
     
    But what does this mean? In a positive social framework, say in a Western consumerist, capitalist country, now, more than any other time past, individuals can create their own identity, constructed of one’s own individual choices and desires.

    In the context of visual culture, art can be an invaluable resource for examining the interplay of our values and ethical commitments, in addition to commenting profoundly on the human condition and identities.

  • My particular concern is the relation between visual representation and the identity of the human subject.

    We will be exploring artworks with an emphasis on specific identities that have challenged formalist beliefs in a universal art (which was historically created overwhelmingly by and for a specific demographic group who were white, western, heterosexual men of the middle upper class). However postmodernism reflect broader social critiques of hierarchies based on ethnicity, gender, sexuality and class. I should point out that when I say postmoderism I am talking about a way of thinking that can be applied to any period, not an artistic movement.
     
    Body, gender, identity – this thematic complex has acquired a new significance in art. It is relevant to consider why are these questions about identity so motivating?

    As the quote on the screen by Craig Owens suggests, we cannot look at identity in isolation, we need therefore to place questions of identity in the context of history, language and power.

  • TO begin with, when considering the relation between visual representation and the identity of the human subject, the notion of individuality has to be reviewed.

    The term ‘subject’ refers to something quite different form the term individual which dates from the Renaissance and presupposes that we are free, intellectual agents and that thinking processes are not coerced by historical or cultural circumstances.

    The term ‘subject’ helps us to conceive of human reality or identity, as a construction, as a product of signifying activities that are both culturally specific and generally unconscious. The category of the subject calls into question the notion of the self synonymous with consciousness, it de-centres consciousness.

    In examining how identities are represented, it is important to unpack the term representation also. Representation refers to the use of language and images to create meaning about the world around us. And these systems have rules and conventions about how to express and interpret meaning.

  • So this leads me to ask the question:

    Do systems of representation reflect the world as it is, as a form of imitation, or do we construct the world around us, our identities, and representations of identities through our use of the systems of representation?

    Social constructionists argue that systems of representation do not reflect an already existing reality so much as they organize, construct, and mediate our understanding of reality, emotion, and imagination.

    However, the distinction can often be difficult to make.
  • Add this juncture I want to mention expressionism. And key here is Hal Foster’s text: The Expressive Fallacy


    ‘Expression’ is mediated
    Painters in particular often hold onto the notion of being a conduit of the unconscious, existing on an interior self
     
    Expressionists:
    Expressionism: denies (external) mediation, maintains the notion of individual expression, of ‘natural’, it venerates the ‘touch of the artist’ , the expressive indexical
    Abstract expressionism
    They align themselves to the idea that there is ‘a reality beyond representation’ and socio-historical connections are severed

    This further complicates our thinking of identity and representation.
  • So to begin with looking at a few well known portraits.

    Are these portraits simply a reflection of the sitters, or do they produce meanings?
  • For example, how do these images differ in their portrayal of motherhood?
  • What about context?

    How is the meaning of Edvard Munch’s, The Scream (1893), changed in each new context? How does the reproductions change the meaning of the original?
  • Now I hope you are realising that I am trying to suggest that identities are fluid, however:

    Society prefers to operate with fixed identities - they help to divide people into groups, to 'push' the groups into separated "boxes" and computer files (hierarchical or nested into one another), to label these boxes and files with names, numbers and codes, and then to do with them all sorts of manipulations. And above all, to exercise control.
  • But how do we conceive of our own identities?

    For many people, answering questions about identity begins by listing details that can be found on birth certificates–name, sex, ethnicity, and family origins. People wishing to research their family histories locate the birth certificates of known family members because these documents provide essential information about the identities of ancestors. The importance of birth certificates might suggest that identity is basically fixed and stable from the time of birth. Consider sex and ethnicity, two labels applied at birth that are at the heat of how many people think about identity. Both are generally understood as clear-cut categories from which identity is established.
  • However, the assumption that identity consists merely of what we are “born with” can underemphasize the influences or impact of larger social forces that also affect identity. Consider gender identity, for example. Although it is true in one sense that sex is established at birth, it is important to note that developmental psychologists have concluded that a person’s understanding what it means to be male or female develops through social interaction over time. During preschool years, children begin to discover what gender identity means. They carefully observe who’s a boy, who’s a girl, how they dress, what they do, and how they are treated. In fact, children’s understanding and expectations about gender are largely influenced by what they see and experience. Gender identity is not fixed at birth; rather it is a process that evolves over time.

    Similarly, the meaning of ethnic identity and nationality is something worked out within larger social and cultural settings.
    In reality, the facts of our birth are merely starting points for understanding identity. Larger social and cultural forces also play important roles in shaping our sense of identity–including ideas about gender and race. Personal identity cannot be separated from the social contexts in which we live.
    During today you will be encouraged to examine how some taken-for-granted aspects of identity are shaped and influenced by larger cultural forces.
  • From this perspective, cultural attitudes and assumptions largely define identity and allow us to label or identify others. People do not live in a vaccuum. Instead we pick up the influences of our surroundings.  According to this viewpoint, identity is shaped through acculturation. Acculturation is the process by which we absorb the practices, attitudes, and beliefs of particular social groups. Culture connects us by providing a shared set of customs, values, ideas and beliefs.

    For example the cultural markers of identity that we choose–such as the types of cars we drive, the clothes we wear, and the music we listen to, our homes, our décor, our hobbies–can affect our sense of identity. These markers allow us to label ourselves and others as belonging to a particular social group or as having certain shared interests or values.
  • Another common assumption about identity is that it is shaped by our personal choices or decisions. According to this viewpoint, to understand identity we must examine the choices we make in our daily lives–choices about our social relationships and anything else we care about. Rather than seeing all matters of identity as determined by larger cultural forces that are beyond our control, this viewpoint recognizes that individuals participate in and make decisions about their identities.

    Certainly this assumption is based in truth. We make choices. Personal decisions can be crucial to one’s sense of identity, and that personal choices can outweigh the importance of cultural influences and the expectations of others
  • What’s more, the identity that we convey to others changes according to different social contexts. That is, our individual identities are in constant flux. Recall the kinds of identification found in your purse or wallet. The cards illustrate the idea that identity, unlike identification cards, is not fixed or permanent. While ID cards include a photo and a series of facts, the “facts” of our identities are not so fixed, they change and evolve.

    This is what it means to call identity an open text. ID cards show proof of the ever-evolving nature of identity. The photos in these cards never seem up-to-date and many of us carry pictures of family and friends that are also out-of-date. Pull out one of these old pictures or IDs and look for details that reveal a now-discarded or changed aspect of your identity.

    This assumption suggests that despite the larger cultural contexts in which we live, we shape our identities through the choices we make. According to this view, identity is not fixed, but shifts over time and in different situations.
  • We live in an age in which individual identity is widely conceived of as an artificial performance, a conglomeration of signs through which we are (not necessarily willingly) fixed.
     
    Yet at the same time we claim these socially imposed identities in order to unite within identity politics with others ‘like us’
    That is to say:
    “We want our body to ‘be’ and yet we assert priority of the spirit (or language) over it; we and we are not our bodies.”

    Looking beyond our contemporary preoccupations, it is clear that now is not the first, nor will it be the last moment when issues relating to identity hold particular prominence.

    Notably we can identify aspects of art production between the two world wars, in particular Dada and its legacy in Surrealism. Furthermore some of the psychoanalytic roots of theories relating to identity date back to the late 1920s.
  • In terms of Psychoanalysis, one way to think of the traditional distinction is to cite Freud, who asserted that although an individual's identity is socially constructed, not just naturally produced, the form it takes is conditioned by the inner psychological self.

  • This work by Barbara Kruger comments on the use of female patients in psychoanalysis and medicine.

    She has created images that look as if they came from late-19th-century engravings for medical textbooks. In one typically billboard-sized photograph, a bearded and bespectacled man holds what appears to be a human heart while standing beside a naked woman who lies on a table. Kruger has written across the picture ''no radio,'' as if to equate the man (surgeon?) with a burglar and the woman with a car that he has just vandalized. Once seen, the image is easily, effortlessly consumed and forgotten, like the witty advertisements whose visual tricks Kruger exploits.
  • SO…

    Does the body rule the mind Or does the mind rule the body ?

    The body is essential to identity, as psychological states arise from, and require a body. But identity requires active reflection.


    Are you the same person now as you were on the day you were born?
    Explaining identity over time is possible but is a rather problematic issue.
    After all, the physical changes your body has undertaken between your birth and the present are striking: it is possible that there is not a single atom that your current body shares in common with your infant body.
    Perhaps then identity is not tied to your physical sameness but to your mental sameness.
    However if we focus on your mental properties, explaining how you have remained the same person from your birth until now is difficult.
    Can you remember being an infant? Do you share any specific beliefs or desires with your self as an infant?
    It seems that explaining identity over time with reference to sameness of mental properties wont work either.
    What other options are available?

    Maybe you possess an immaterial soul that persists through your life unchanged, and it is by virtue of this that you are the same person as you were at birth? Will this explanation work without introducing even more problems?

    These are the sorts of questions that fall under the topic ‘personal identity’. Their answers have ramifications for our basic self-understanding, for they imply who and what we are as individuals.







  • For example consider the idea of Materiality and identity, taking this car as an example.

    Almost, if not all its original parts have been replaced. So comparing it to the car before this process, are they the same car?
    If you think that the car resulting from the gradual replacement of all its parts is not identical to the original car, then we need to ask the question: When during the replacement process did the car stop being identical to the original car?
  • So clearly identity and mind body dualism is not so clear cut. These are ideas that have been debated at least since Plato.

    More recently however, in the late 1940s Maurice Merleau_Ponty and Jean Paul Satre discussed the body and its experience as a reaction to the previous mentalist traditional philosophy.

    Jean Paul Sartre's existentialist phenomenology was in many ways an attempt to eliminate Rene Descartes' dualism with respect to consciousness and self-identity.
  • Later, French writers like Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida and others rejected the tradition of Cartesian mind-body dualism that resonated in Rene Descartes’ dictum “ I think therefore I am” which expresses that our identity is to be characterised through thought, whereas now the focus of attention was shifted towards bodily experiences.

  • All identities, whether based on class, gender or ethnicity are social constructions. And there is no doubt that identity-construction is increasingly dependent on images.

    The construction of a personal identity can be seen to be somewhat problematic and difficult
    We are surrounded by influential imagery, especially that of popular media. It is no longer possible for an identity to be constructed merely in a small community and only be influenced by family. Nowadays, arguably everything concerning out lives is seen to be ‘media-saturated’.

    …individuals actively and creatively sample available cultural symbols, myths, and rituals as they produce their identities.

    Within this idea, it is important to remember that an identity is not a fixed thing and it is just as difficult maintaining one as it is constructing one in the first place.

  • SO clearly there exist many theories that inform us that identity is determined, in each of them institutions play a crucial determining role; there is the family, the school, the place of work and increasingly the media.
  • We may consider that the recognition of ourselves in a photograph can serve to define us, to create an identifiable and distinct subject.


    In addition to recognition of ourselves I photographs , they must also be acknowledged as similacra, as nothing more than a representation of a representation.

    The term simulacra, drawn from the writings of Jean Baudrillard, is often used to signify this idea of representation as reality.

    Cindy Sherman uses photographs as a mirror to deconstruct stereotypes.

    Addresses issues of femininity, sexual identity, voyeurism, and artificiality and oppression in cultural representations.


    Untitled Film Stills (1977) -- using herself as a model in some black-and-white film stills


  • Sherman’s images are not an invitation to look behind or through the representation for the ‘real’ Sherman, but rather they are an exploitation of this impulse to drive a wedge between the unified and authentic inner self and the postmodern sense of an irrevocably fragmented and culturally constituted subjectivity.
  • Sherman shows that to represent the self is to reproduce an already given type.
  • In this body of work Sherman uses body fragments, dolls or some other inanimate objects.

    She accentuates the detachment of her mannequins thus highlighting the artificiality of identities and body constructs.

    In this sense her work is in line with recent cultural theory that demonstrates the ways in which identity, sexuality, nationality, or ethnicity should be seen as partial, provisional and constantly in process.
  • Identity politics

    Identity politics can be seen in art production after 1970 that foregrounds the connections of racial, class and sexual subjectivity to the institutions and processes of power.
    Implicitly or explicitly, ‘identity art” is informed by the body of the maker or the subject of its investigation.

    Gilbert and George
    Race, religion, sexuality and criticism of the British establishment are the core themes
  • Gilbert and George create these huge brightly-coloured photo-based collage-pictures on a black grid -- which has become their well-known visual signature.
    The subject matter of their photo-pieces is almost invariably directly autobiographical.
  • We place so much emphasis on physical attributes in determining identity.

    However the notion that an individual might gain a sense of authenticity and connection with the self in and through the body is profoundly disturbed by the unstable appropriations and ideological representations of the body throughout the history of Western culture, and within an increasingly mediatized and technologically driven world.
  • Martha Wilson
    I Make Up the Image of My Perfection/I Make Up the Image of My Deformity (2007)
  • In these images, the woman is hypersexualized, objectified and clearly positioned for the male gaze.
    Her naked body is used as space to showcase men’s accessories. These accessories (sunglasses, belts, bags, etc.) are for sale and using a woman’s bodies as the shelves to display implies that women are available for consumption as well.

    first she is on her knees bending over backwards, then she is lying down, and then she is on her hands and knees looking down. We never see her face because it’s not important – what matters more is her body: her sexy, thin, naked body which is exploited to market male accessories.

  • In psychoanalytic film criticism, the gaze is not the act of looking itself, but the viewing relationship characteristic of a particular set of social circumstances.
    The concept of the gaze is fundamentally about the relationship of pleasure and images.
  • In a typical female nude, a woman is posed so that her body is on display for the viewer, who is implied to be male.
    John Berger wrote that in his history of images, “men act, women appear.”

    The traditional roles of men and women are in upheaval and the theoretical concept of the male gaze has been rethought.

  • On how identities are connected with the world of media and the images which it surrounds us with, she writes

    ‘Representation as a cultural process establishes individual and collective identities, and symbolic systems provide possible answers to the questions: who am I?; what could I be?; who do I want to be?’
  • Even if we kept faith with a mind/body split or a nature/culture divide, body and mind have been regarded as inextricably linked.

    But there has been an explosion of technological possibilities which have prized oven this relationship loose, technologies that outstrip our emotional and ethical grasp. For instance, if reproductive technologies such as IVF raise fundamental ethical questions then asexual reproduction, cloning, reverberates even louder.

    There is a fundamental difference between the new body our cells continually generate out of themselves and a genetic duplicate cloned from those cells.
  • Marc Quinn
    Quinn has also explored the potential artistic uses of DNA, making a portrait of a sitter by extracting strands of DNA
    2001 witnessed the creation of the DNA portraits, whose basis consists of DNA that has been replicated by means of standard cloning technology. A portrait is thus not a copy of the appearance of the person being portrayed, but is actually his genetic code.

    Are there physical attributes that people have that remains unchanged over time. The only plausible candidate here is DNA.
    Maybe we should link personal identity to DNA.
    This is problematic as it would imply that identical twins and clones are nondistinct persons.
  • Perhaps then we shouldn’t focus on looking for a property or properties that remain unchanged over the life of the individual.
    Maybe then we should look to specify the extent to which someone can change and still be the same person
  • A few examples of less literal portraits:
    CONFESSIONAL
    Gillian Wearing,
    ”Signs that say what you want them to say and not Signs that say what someone else wants you to say”, (1992-3)
  • Beagles and Ramsay
    Self portraits

    USING THEIR OWN BLOOD AS THE MAIN INGREDIENT BEAGLES & RAMSAY MADE THEIR “BLACK PUDDING SELF PORTRAIT”
  • Bruce Nauman transforms everyday activities, speech, and objects into works that are both familiar and alien.

    Nauman’s work explores video, text, and self-portraiture—materials and themes the artist has engaged for over thirty years.
    An example of one of Nauman's early neons on the subject of identity.
  • Neon Templates of the Left Half of My Body Taken at Ten-Inch Intervals (1966) as an innovative exercise in portraiture as sculpture.
  • How to Get a Head in Sculpture BBC 4

  • Finally I wanted to end with this rationalisation of the exploration of identity:

    Identity and Difference, edited by Kathryn Woodward in the Culture, Media and Identities Open University series, published by Sage (1997)


    'This book is about identity because identity matters, both in terms of social and political concerns within the contemporary world and within academic discourses where identity has been seen as conceptually important in offering explanations of social and cultural changes...
    Identity can be seen as the interface between subjective positions and social and cultural situations... Identity gives us an idea of who we are and of how we relate to others and to the world in which we live. Identity marks the ways in which we are the same as others who share that position, and the ways in which we are different from those who do not.' (pp. 1-2).
  • Identity and Representation

    1. 1. IDENTITY & REPRESENTATION
    2. 2. REPRESENTATION IS NOT NEUTRAL; IT IS AN ACT OF POWER IN OUR CULTURE. Craig Owens, 1992
    3. 3. Representation refers to the use of language and images to create meaning about the world around us. These systems have rules and conventions about how to express and interpret meaning.
    4. 4. Do systems of representation reflect the world as it is, as a form of mimesis or imitation, or do we construct the world around us through our use of the systems of representation? Social constructionists argue that systems of representation do not reflect an already existing reality so much as they organize, construct, and mediate our understanding of reality, emotion, and imagination. However, the distinction can often be difficult to make. Alasdair Gray Self Portrait
    5. 5. ‘Expression’ is mediated Painters in particular often hold onto the notion of being a conduit of the unconscious, existing on an interior self Expressionism: Denies (external) mediation, maintains the notion of individual expression, of ‘natural’, it venerates the ‘touch of the artist’ , the expressive indexical. Abstract expressionism They align themselves to the idea that there is ‘a reality beyond representation’ and socio-historical connections are severed. The Expressive Fallacy: Hal Foster Jackson Pollock
    6. 6. Are these images simply a reflection or do they produce meanings?
    7. 7. How do each of these images represent different icons of motherhood?
    8. 8. How is the meaning of Edvard Munch’s, The Scream (1893), changed in each new context? How does the reproductions change the meaning of the original?
    9. 9. Society prefers to operate with fixed identities - they help to divide people into groups, to 'push' the groups into separated "boxes" and computer files (hierarchical or nested into one another), to label these boxes and files with names, numbers and codes, and then to do with them all sorts of manipulations. And above all, to exercise control. Fluid Identities
    10. 10. For many people, answering questions about identity begins by listing details that can be found on birth certificates–name, sex, ethnicity, and family origins. People wishing to research their family histories locate the birth certificates of known family members because these documents provide essential information about the identities of ancestors. The importance of birth certificates might suggest that identity is basically fixed and stable from the time of birth. Consider sex and ethnicity, two labels applied at birth that are at the heat of how many people think about identity. Both are generally understood as clear-cut categories from which identity is established. Frida Kahlo, My Birth (1932) David Shrigley
    11. 11. Grayson Perry Construction of identity through relationships; blurring of gender boundaries; dual identity
    12. 12. For example the cultural markers of identity that we choose–such as the types of cars we drive, the clothes we wear, and the music we listen to– can affect our sense of identity. These markers allow us to label ourselves and others as belonging to a particular social group or as having certain shared interests or values. Lucy McKenzie, “Bryan Ferry”
    13. 13. Orlan: a performance artists who uses her own body and the procedures of plastic surgery to make ‘carnal art’
    14. 14. ID cards show proof of the ever-evolving nature of identity. The photos in these cards never seem up-to-date and many of us carry pictures of family and friends that are also out-of-date. Pull out one of these old pictures or IDs and look for details that reveal a now-discarded or changed aspect of your identity.
    15. 15. We live in an age in which individual identity is widely conceived of as an artificial performance, a conglomeration of signs through which we are (not necessarily willingly) fixed. Yet at the same time we claim these socially imposed identities in order to unite within identity politics with others ‘like us’. That is to say: “We want our body to ‘be’ and yet we assert priority of the spirit (or language) over it; we and we are not our bodies.” Jennifer Blessing, Rrose is a Rrose is a Rrose: gender Performance in Photography, Guggenheim Museum, New York, 1997, p112 Rrose Sélavy (Marcel Duchamp). 1921. Photograph by Man Ray
    16. 16. One way to think of the traditional distinction is to cite Freud, who asserted that although an individual's identity is socially constructed, not just naturally produced, the form it takes is conditioned by the inner psychological self.
    17. 17. Barbara Kruger, “No radio”, (1988)
    18. 18. “Does the body rule the mind Or does the mind rule the body ? I don´t know...” Morrissey, The Smiths: Still Ill, (1984)
    19. 19. Materiality and identity
    20. 20. Barbara Kruger "Untitled (I shop, therefore I am)" (1987) Later, French writers like Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida and others rejected the tradition of Cartesian mind-body dualism that resonated in Rene Descartes’ dictum “ I think therefore I am” which expresses that our identity is to be characterised through thought, whereas now the focus of attention was shifted towards bodily experiences.
    21. 21. All identities, whether based on class, gender or ethnicity are social constructions. And there is no doubt that identity-construction is increasingly dependent on images.
    22. 22. There exist many theories that inform us that identity is determined, in each of them institutions play a crucial determining role; there is the family, the school, the place of work and increasingly the media. Richard Billingham, Liz Shaking Fist at Ray (1995)
    23. 23. Lois Lane in the 1950's television program Superman Cindy Sherman Untitled Film Still #21
    24. 24. Cindy Sherman Untitled Film Still #6 Sherman’s images are not an invitation to look behind or through the representation for the ‘real’ Sherman, but rather they are an exploitation of this impulse to drive a wedge between the unified and authentic inner self and the postmodern sense of an irrevocably fragmented and culturally constituted subjectivity.
    25. 25. Cindy Sherman Untitled Film Still #54 Sherman shows that to represent the self is to reproduce an already given type.
    26. 26. Sherman, Untitled #155, 1985. Cindy Sherman, Untitled #250, 1992 The seductive has been used to produce the grotesque. She accentuates the detachment of her mannequins thus highlighting the artificiality of identities and body constructs. In this sense her work is in line with recent cultural theory that demonstrates the ways in which identity, sexuality, nationality, or ethnicity should be seen as partial, provisional and constantly in process.
    27. 27. Gilbert & George, Bleeding Medals, 2008
    28. 28. However the notion that an individual might gain a sense of authenticity and connection with the self in and through the body is profoundly disturbed by the unstable appropriations and ideological representations of the body throughout the history of Western culture, and within an increasingly mediatized and technologically driven world.
    29. 29. Germaine Greer in The Whole Woman (1999): “Every woman knows that, regardless of her other achievements, she is a failure if she is not beautiful...” Martha Wilson I Make Up the Image of My Perfection/I Make Up the Image of My Deformity (2007
    30. 30. In these images, the woman is hypersexualized, objectified and clearly positioned for the male gaze. Her naked body is used as space to showcase men’s accessories. These accessories (sunglasses, belts, bags, etc.) are for sale and using a woman’s bodies as the shelves to display implies that women are available for consumption as well.
    31. 31. In psychoanalytic film criticism, the gaze is not the act of looking itself, but the viewing relationship characteristic of a particular set of social circumstances. The concept of the gaze is fundamentally about the relationship of pleasure and images.
    32. 32. In a typical female nude, a woman is posed so that her body is on display for the viewer, who is implied to be male. John Berger wrote that in his history of images, “men act, women appear.” The traditional roles of men and women are in upheaval and the theoretical concept of the male gaze has been rethought.
    33. 33. ‘Representation as a cultural process establishes individual and collective identities, and symbolic systems provide possible answers to the questions: who am I?; what could I be?; who do I want to be?’ (p14). On how identities are connected with the world of media and the images which it surrounds us with, she writes:
    34. 34. Even if we kept faith with a mind/body split or a nature/culture divide, body and mind have been regarded as inextricably linked. But there has been an explosion of technological possibilities which have prized oven this relationship loose, technologies that outstrip our emotional and ethical grasp. For instance, if reproductive technologies such as IVF raise fundamental ethical questions then asexual reproduction, cloning, reverberates even louder/
    35. 35. Are there physical attributes that people have that remains unchanged over time. The only plausible candidate here is DNA. Maybe we should link personal identity to DNA. This is problematic as it would imply that identical twins and clones are nondistinct persons. Marc Quinn has also explored the potential artistic uses of DNA, making a portrait of a sitter by extracting strands of DNA 2001 witnessed the creation of the DNA portraits, whose basis consists of DNA that has been replicated by means of standard cloning technology. A portrait is thus not a copy of the appearance of the person being portrayed, but is actually his genetic code.
    36. 36. Marc Quinn, Portrait of an artist as a young man, 2005, Painted bronze Perhaps then we shouldn’t focus on looking for a property or properties that remain unchanged over the life of the individual. Maybe then we should look to specify the extent to which someone can change and still be the same person
    37. 37. Gillian Wearing, ”Signs that say what you want them to say and not Signs that say what someone else wants you to say”, (1992-3)
    38. 38. USING THEIR OWN BLOOD AS THE MAIN INGREDIENT BEAGLES & RAMSAY MADE THEIR “BLACK PUDDING SELF PORTRAIT”
    39. 39. Bruce Nauman. My Name As Though It Were Written on the Surface of the Moon (1968)
    40. 40. Bruce Nauman. Neon Templates of the Left Half of My Body Taken at Ten-Inch Intervals (1966)
    41. 41. Marc Quinn. Self, 2001 Blood (artist's), stainless steel, perspex and refrigeration equipment
    42. 42. Identity and Difference, edited by Kathryn Woodward in the Culture, Media and Identities Open University series, published by Sage (1997) 'This book is about identity because identity matters, both in terms of social and political concerns within the contemporary world and within academic discourses where identity has been seen as conceptually important in offering explanations of social and cultural changes... Identity can be seen as the interface between subjective positions and social and cultural situations... Identity gives us an idea of who we are and of how we relate to others and to the world in which we live. Identity marks the ways in which we are the same as others who share that position, and the ways in which we are different from those who do not.' (pp. 1-2).
    43. 43. Who I Am and What I Want, a film by David Shrigley & Chris Shepherd

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