For this exercise, we are asking to reflect about those aspects of our personality or identity that make us unique. At first thought, the question seems difficult to answer because we usually have a “singular and privileged” point of view of ourselves that tends to hide certain features of our personality that for other people are quite evident.
I tried to divide the task into those features that I think can define the identity of any person, establishing six group and use them as a guideline to describe myself. That doesn’t mean that the answer of the question is a simple as to fill those groups with a brief reflection, but at least is a good starting point that could be extended in the future.
I reflected about how I relate to other people, specially while I was young, developing s kind of introverted personality, or what I called a Ninja Personality, avoiding any kind of social prevalence and keep aware and waiting for the a good and favourable occasion to speak in public.
I made a self-portrait titled “The Ninja Project”, where I appear hide in the shadows observing the viewer, but protected behind three bars.
Nationality was another topic about I reflected on. All my childhood and youth I had to live with the fact of being a migrant son, and although I lived in Spain, my parents were from Spain, I didn’t have Spanish nationality. Since my parents came back to Spain when I was 5 years old, I didn’t have any special bond with Venezuela, the place where I was born. So this point lead my to consider myself as a kind of weirdo, with a mix of encounter feelings. Although I got over all those feelings since i got the Spanish nationality in my thirties, all that stuff played an important role in my biography. The picture I made depicts the a toy flag of Venezuela that I have at home alongside a wooden mannequin; the blurred effect intents to evoke those feelings of the past.
I called the third group: what I create defines me; which is true. We live through our creations. Here I reflect about creativity and the way I explore my surroundings. Creativity requires movement. At this point, it resonates on me the lecture of Elina Brotherus for OCA students, where she explains that we should keep going, better than stay at home thinking. For me creativity has to to with the way we transform our ideas, experiencies and feelings, establishing unexpected and meaningful relations.
Here a made a pantomime of the creativity process, surrounded by all my “creatures”.
The four group has to do with culture; I understand for it the books I read, the music I listen to, the paintings and photographs I see, movies, etc… all those things have a great influence in the way we perceive the world and how we interact with it. For this particular subject, I took a picture titled “Sangre y Letra” (Blood and letter) that depicts the beginning of the elegiac poem of Federico García Lorca.
Nothing defines more a person that the age; it not makes me unique, but it determines the main way on which I will be considered. We tend to group people by ages: a young man, an adult and and old man. I’m now 54 years old, so I think I’m doing the transition from adulthood to something more “serious”. I depict myself in a way that the aging signs were more evident, using a cenital light to remark the shadows on my face.
The final consideration have to do with our jobs. Our identity is also defined by what we do to make a living. For many of us, our job is a way to support our lives; in a certain way we sell our time, our body and our mind to companies, loosing part of our identity in the transaction. I took a series of nine pictures to illustrate such transformation, we can it: “Worker On Sale”