Daily Self-Portrait: Between Narcissism and Exhibitionism, Enjoyment and Self Discovery


Daily Self-Portrait – why am I doing this? The first time the idea came to me was at the beginning of 2004, when I’d been sure for some weeks that I would grow my hair again; the Daily Self-Portrait being a sort of documentation of the whole thing. At the time though I lost the enjoyment in it really quickly, why exactly I can’t say now. Perhaps because I was lacking the “audience” amongst other things. Perhaps I should have done just one internet search; I think I would have found other similar projects right away.

At the beginning of August 2005 I found several similar projects via MC Winkel’s website ( Link, in particular that of Pete ( Link. I found this one inspiring because Pete refrains from just photographing his head in any possible similar pose every day but totally puts himself and his surroundings in the picture. At first glance I found it comical to start with, at the second look it’s a sort of diary; I suppose that now you would perhaps even say picture blog.

I’ve been writing a diary for some years now and am glad for every day that I have recorded in this way. I have illustrated many of these days with pictures and the idea of recording every day by a single a picture, by itself capturing the context and the mood of the day, is a logical continuation.

Of course straightforward narcissism and interest in your own appearance also play a decisive role in the whole idea. In my opinion, the whole thing coupled with a bit of exhibitionism – rather an important basis for a personal website or personal blog – and something along these lines comes out of it; an essentially healthier version of self-promotion and presentation in my view than the prostitution in the sort of television programmes like Star Search and Deutschland sucht den Superstar (Germany finds a Superstar) where it’s either all down to making a total mockery of someone or, as far as is possible, spinning money off someone until that person is totally burnt out and empty. Behind the internet in general, especially the Daily Self-Portrait, there is at least the basic idea of interactivity and you can expect direct responses and discussions.
I see no reason to dismiss narcissism as egocentric, harmful or abnormal in any other way. On the contrary; nowadays, it’s more important than ever to know who you are, what you stand for and to remain yourself with all the variation in the world (of work).
You might look at a blog like Dark Obsession ( Link, in which a couple presents their love to the world, but not in gentle pastel shades with candlelight, but blatantly sexual, hard, zealous. Now without wishing to read too much into it, here two people have discovered each other and learned to love each other and are happy, contented and proud of it presenting themselves in this way; originally the blog was set up as a virtual bridge within a long-distance relationship. The two of them live their life in their own way, carrying their own thing through and allowing others through their exhibitionism to participate in their eroticism and their love ( Link.

Another, perhaps absurd form of narcissism or better, self-portrayal: the website, or rather the technology itself that is behind it. Unfortunately I’m not creative in many things. One of them is programming. I find it fun, I can express myself through it in a certain way and create something new. Of course you can’t compare this to making music or painting, but for me personally it has a similar status. It makes me happy to see something I have created myself displayed in its (for me) perfect form, from which others will also enjoy or can benefit from.
Many other professions, particularly handcrafts, make it easier to explain to others what is being done. But many stylishly created things stay hidden, and are not brought forward.

Self discovery: in my test version of the project there are some more photos from past years (unfortunately, of course, not from absolutely every day) and the development is astonishing. I have always liked to experiment with all possible types of beard (as long as I have had a beard) and on some occasions even hair had gone – and that alone would have been worth documenting, totally apart from the natural “development process”. You can see the 5 kilo that I’ve put on since I was twenty. And that is only the absolutely superficial stuff, which you can see at the first glance. By way of summary I can say that this project reminds me of my past – of what and how I was , perhaps of the direction I was developing, and in particular that most growth and development processes are finite.
Just within this field of vision to choose the time, the place and the mood for a picture can be seen on its own as a short moment of contemplation and meditation and as such be worth the time taken.

I have no idea how long I’ll keep it going but at the moment it’s great fun for me to find the photo which best represents the respective day, which according to my taste sets the best scene at the moment and I think that the whole thing can even become exciting.
On this note I’ll close for now with the words of Freddie Mercury “Don't take offence at my innuendo”. I’m curious about resulting comments or discussion.

Erstmalig am 15. September 2005 auf Planet-Punk.de veröffentlicht.

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