The Image as a Template for Posing
Trying to fit and trying to fit in. Phone, hand, gaze, always connected online and to the behaviours of the other. My body reacts and responds to what I see: following selfie-making tutorials, reenacting other people’s selfie gestures, ‘smizes’, ‘finger-mouths’, pronouncing “prawn”, deconstructing and reconstructing the language of the selfie. Yet, prior to this study, I wasn’t much of a selfie-maker, I didn’t have a grasp of the conventions, whilst I was aware of the ‘duck-face pout’, I did not know saying the word “prune” to my camera-phone, would help me master it. In this sense, I am learning through doing by following a particular prosumer-image practice.
Whilst I, the artist, perform for and create video and photographic self-portraits, this research should not be considered as simply about me, rather I work in a knotty entanglement with the pouts and poses of others, specifically women who disseminate selfies on online selling sites. In turn I create self-portraits that are less about representing my likeness, and much more about exposing the performative aspects of the self as converged with, and constructed in relation to, other bodies, both human and photographic.
Combining methods of image-appropriation, humour and unease, I re-enact the image, for the next image, drawing upon a very specific set of imagery sourced from the internet, which I make analogue, perform, and return to the digital as a new model for being – a process and concept I refer to as: ‘the image as a template for posing’. My embodied remixing of images and gestures allows me to rethink the manipulation of images and the desire to perform and become-image.
School of Arts & Humanities
Arts & Humanities Research, 2017–
Moira Lovell is an artist working with photography and video. Her practice-led research focuses on the consumptive and productive cycle of a specific body of prosumer imagery to examine its impact on both offline and online relationships to the body. This project offers a new consideration of the systems of exchange bound up within this form of image making and how it produces ‘occasions’ for self[ie]-portraiture. Through her art practice, online prosumer images become vehicles for the study of present and ubiquitous modes of digital image making practices and how these intersect with new modes of subjectivity, representation, self-performance and the staging of everyday life
- MA Gender, Media and Culture, Goldsmiths University, 2015; MA Photography, London College of Communication, 2006; BA (Hons) Photography, Kent Institute of Art and Design (now known as University for the Creative Arts), 1999
- Director of Curriculum and Quality, Open College of the Arts, 2018; (Distance Learning) Tutor in Photography, Open College of the Arts, 2005 - to date