In my previous post, I said that yesterday was the last day of my February photo challenge, simply because this year is not a leap year. However, I went ahead with the 29th day because I couldn’t leave the 29th behind or maybe of my OCD or maybe because I like to look at myself in the mirror. At least this is proof that I’m not a vampire.
I read this quote a year ago and I never thought about our reflection in this way. It didn’t make sense to me at first, but after thinking on it, it’s starting to make sense. Just another amazing thing about our body and how it works!
When you stand in front of a looking-glass (an ordinary glass or metal mirror), you project an image of your body into the mirror; the mirror reflects the image back. Projection is self-alienation: the image in the mirror isn’t you. People look into mirrors and say: “That’s my face!”, but they’re wrong. It isn’t your face at all, it’s just an image of your face. Scratch the mirror and you don’t feel a thing. The image is alien; it’s not you. But you can recognize yourself in that alien image. This is like taking possession of it. It’s like the mirror stole your face, and now you have to steal it back. You claim the image of your face as your own, even though you still know it isn’t really you. In recognizing your own face, you haven’t compared the true appearance of your face to what appears in the mirror, since you don’t know what your face really looks like. Self-recognition isn’t based on any comparison. In order to make the comparison to gain self-knowledge, you’d have to already have self-knowledge. It’s almost as if you reach into the mirror and grab the mirror image: you have to take it, to appropriate it. You need to make an argument, based on philosophical analysis, that the image in the mirror really resembles your face. Self-recognition is something you have to earn by hard logical work. In self-recognition, you overcome the otherness of the mirror-image. You take back what is yours, which the mirror stole from you. What’s necessary is that there is a difference (projection and self-alienation; the mirror takes your image) and that you overcome this difference (reflection and self-recognition; you take your image back)
-Professor Eric Steinhart
So, once again here is my face. I started this challenge with a selfie, I’m ending it with one… Or five.
Title: You in a Mirror
Camera: Canon Rebel T3