Personal Journeys and Fictional Autobiographies

© Lena Aliper (2012) - Jack and Jill Story no.12

I am quite intrigued by the photographs produced by artists working in this genre although I’m not sure how they are so incisive in their picture-taking. I have a diary of photos like most people who own a smartphone but it is sporadic at best. I am part of a large family but when I take photos of them its usually at formal occasions in groups or they pull a funny face! Working more seriously with a visual diary or getting a deeper perspective of my family’s lives intrigues me. However, I am aware that I would need to exhibit such work in an exhibition of some sorts eventually so I would need to be comfortable with the content being displayed publicly.

One way I could combat this potential discomfort is if I was to feature in the portraits as self portrait or my diary concentrated on more personal aspects of my life. I am more comfortable photographing myself than other family members weirdly and much more comfortable displaying these publicly. With Documentary for example I used my hand as a tool to suggest subjectivity in Assignment 2. Then for Assignment 5 I mirrored the poses of tourists to show my retrospective (non)relationship with them. One photographer who photographs themselves and delves deeper into their personal life is Lena Aliper with Jack and Jill Story (2012).

© Lena Aliper (2012) - Jack and Jill Story no.12
Fig. 1 © Lena Aliper – ‘Jack and Jill Story no.12’ (2012)

Jack and Jill Story (2012) is full of deliberate contradictions. These range from the scenes which at first glance seem quite banal to the surreal poses and placements of the objects/person juxtaposing with the banality of the scene. Then there are the poses Aliper pulls which at one time can be seen as ‘Jill’ modelling for ‘Jack’ and in another instance as Aliper denying the viewer (or ‘Jack’) a conventional view of herself. By reading about her series I see Aliper’s series as a kind of performance for the camera, using the voyeuristic gaze of the camera to question whether the ‘love’ between Jack and Jill is real or actually a construct. She suggests the work can either be seen alone as photographs for the viewer to look at and try to potentially infer this meaning or in conjunction with supporting polaroids and text. I feel like the series works well on its own but it would also work with the supporting items. This is because the meaning is quite complicated so the supporting items are a welcome supplement.


Fig. 1 Aliper, L. (2012) Jack and Jill Story no.12. [Photograph] Retrieved from: (Accessed 04/04/2019).

T.I.N.A. Prize. (s.d.) Lena Aliper. At: (Accessed 04/04/2019).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s