Lost Bodies A Fieldwork on Artwork as A Self-Portrait

Proceedings of The 4th Global Conference on Women’s Studies

Year: 2022



Lost Bodies A Fieldwork on Artwork as A Self-Portrait

Sepideh Hashemi



In this article, the author addresses how our body-related experiences affect the way we look at our surroundings, think, and make artworks. She challenges the fundamental and classical description of the self-portrait as a picture of a person done by themselves. She claims that the idea behind the artwork and the creative process in the contemporary era is more important than the artwork itself; therefore, regardless of its medium, every artwork is a self-portrait of an artist. It portrays what has happened to artists’ bodies since bodies are the humans’ first encounter with the world. So, they reflect the limitations and sufferings imposed on them through the productions of human beings that, for an artist, could be their artworks. Artists would do this consciously or unconsciously.
She examines the possibility of this hypothesis by doing a fieldwork. Through this fieldwork, she interviewed young artists of various nations, especially those who have experienced using different mediums at the ages of 20 to 40, to validate this hypothesis. Based on the author’s personal experience, changing mediums help artists better understand themselves.

On the other hand, she believes that her nationality as an Iranian makes her sensitive about her body; therefore, she narrates a story to connect it with her experiences to show why people in her country are over obsessed with their bodies. Since, concern and unfamiliarity with her own body inspire the initial idea of this hypothesis. The body in this article is not just the body itself; all the movements and clothing are part of it.

keywords: self-portrait, body, artwork, medium, experience, contemporary art, Iran, Japan, the female body, modern slavery