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From Self-Portrait to Selfie

Representing the Self in the Moving Image


Edited By Muriel Tinel-Temple, Laura Busetta and Marlène Monteiro

Self-portraiture is a singular form within the broad field of first-person film and video – not so much an account of the filmmaker’s intimate life as a representation of the artist at a given instant. With deep roots in the Western tradition of painting and literature, self-portraiture in the moving image can be considered to be a hybrid practice, not fitting into the traditional definition of documentary or fiction, as it breaks the boundaries of both genres.

The investigative and self-reflexive stance of the self-portrait raises questions about intimacy, the appearance and corporeality of the subject and, more importantly, the medium itself. Today the understanding and definition of this practice is being challenged by the emergence of new forms of self-portraiture brought about by digital media, such as the selfie phenomenon. Against this backdrop, this book reassesses the significance of the self-portrait in the moving image and new media by exploring a varied and international body of works.

Muriel Tinel-Temple is currently Associate Lecturer at Birkbeck, University of London and at the University of Roehampton, having previously taught film studies at the University of Paris 3. She is the author of Le cinéaste au travail: autoportraits (Hermann, 2016).

Laura Busetta is a Postdoctoral Researcher in Film at the University of Messina. She has published articles on self-representation, Italian cinema, film and visual art. She is now publishing her monograph on the self-portrait film L'autoritratto (Mimesis, 2019).

Marlène Monteiro holds a PhD in Film Studies from Birkbeck, University of London. Her doctoral thesis, Exposed Intimacy (2015), focuses on self-representation in film and visual media. Her publications include articles on Sophie Calle, Vincent Dieutre and Mariana Otero.

As the three co-founders of the research group «Self-representation in Visual Culture», the editors have participated in conferences and organised several research days and screenings, especially in collaboration with the Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image.