Day 6 – Self-portraits

It’s been a busy day today, and in between meeting an old friend for coffee, saving the NHS and then meeting other old friends for dinner, there’s not been a whole lot of time for Creative Pacting. However, I did stop off at the National Portrait Gallery en route to the NHS rally where I saw two portraits that were created as video – Sam Taylor-Wood’s David, footage of David Beckham sleeping (with his top off – is that man ever fully clothed???) and Eelyn Lee’s An Ealing Trilogy which took a more narrative approach to produce a group portrait that represented general ideas of the exhibition it was commissioned for.

Of course, in a way Manifesto is a self-portrait and this has implications for how I’m thinking about the video components and my wavering ideas of narrative/abstract. The encounters with these two artworks make me think that it might be entirely appropriate to just go with my gut instinct and use whatever feels right and not to worry about whether it’s too busy or dull for other people. This is a portrait of my brain rather than a portrait of my face and it’s entirely possible that – like Francis Bacon’s self-portrait – some of it will make sense only to me.

Also, I received the first of the two books on video art that I ordered the other day. It looks great and I am itching to start reading it, but am trying to restrain myself and leave it for next week’s computerless jaunt to Cambridge. Apparently the second book has shipped too and should arrive early this coming week.

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