a visual essay by
Esther Vanderbroele

“The figure in the front assumes a distinct position. We recognize a rectangle-shaped object in her hand. She is posing for the camera. Her whole posture is determined by the image she sees of herself on the smartphone. In the image on which she is based, she takes a picture of herself in the mirror. Here, the spectator becomes the mirror. She takes a picture of the whole and the camera is facing us. The spectator becomes involved in the image. We do not see ourselves reflected, but we are looked at by the subject. In fact, we are outside of the image looking in. This dynamic brings about a disturbing relationship between the spectator and the figure. It may appear as if she is photographing herself, while we are gazing at her. Yet it is she who is looking at herself.”