Consuming images of the self

front-cover10‘Photographic images provide us with the proof of our existence without which we would find it difficult even to reconstruct a personal history, Bourguse families in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Sontag points out, posed for portraits in order to proclaim the families status, where as today the family album of photographs verifies the individuals existence; it’s documentary record of his record development from infancy onwards provides him with the only evidence of his life that he recognizes as altogether valid. Among the ‘many narcissistic uses’ that Sontag attributes to the camera ‘self servalence’ ranks among the most important, not only because it provides the technical means of ceaseless self scrutiny, but because it renders the sense of self hood dependant upon the consumption of images of the self, at the same time calling into question the reality of the external world’

Pg 48
The Culture of Narcissism
Christopher Lasch

W W Norton & Co Ltd; New edition edition (15 Jan 1979)


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