Martin Greffe

Self portrait Manifesto - February 2013

This was a one week workshop during my third year on the theme of self portraits. We had to mix painting and photography.

There was a lot of attempts, those incessant twenty minutes poses, facing my pinhole camera, I thought about those notions of traces and path. During the first days I found this exercise funny : the less you move the better you’ll be in the final picture. Day after day, this funny thing turned into a true fight against time, trying to find the perfect exposure time. In the final photograph we have got two different traces : material traces left by the brush which helped me to cover the sheet of paper with photosensitive gel, and the trace of time, twenty minute exposure.

Thanks to this workshop, I materialized this desire about the relation to the material that I have with photography I never had time to experiment and realize. I already have tried this photographic gelatine very hard to use because of its light sensitivity, which is different than a classic paper. I found the right exposure time during the last days of the workshop and was afraid of how long I was about to stay still : between twenty and thirty minutes. I was thinking a lot during exposure, a lot of people asked me if they could walk past my camera, of course they could, we wouldn’t be able to see them.