Helga Paris/ Self-portraits.

Helga Paris/ From: Self-portraits; 1981-1989.

Helga Paris/ From: Self-portraits; 1981-1989.

Helga Paris/ From: Self-portraits; 1981-1989.

Helga Paris/ From: Self-portraits; 1981-1989.

Helga Paris/ From: Self-portraits; 1981-1989.

Helga Paris/ From: Self-portraits; 1981-1989.

I never have made self-portraits. I don’t know if I ever will. I hardly look at myself in the mirror. Never had the feeling being able to tell about myself other than how I look like.

At one point or another I realized, that I had unconsciously recognized a part of myself in the children that I have photographed. I began to look back into my childhood; I began to look back at times I didn’t want to be bothered with anymore.
This was necessary. If there is any freedom, not in a political sense, but in a personal one, than you have to find out about the patterns you adapted to deal with your life.

I don’t know a lot to say about Helga Paris’s self-portraits. I just think they are beautiful. I like the melancholy in her eyes; I like her clear-cut, open face, I like the strength and the softness I am gathering out of these images.

Inka Schube writes about Helga Paris’s self-portraits:
“She is astonished by the changing expressions of her face in the mirror. She decides to investigate this photographically with the aid of her bathroom mirror and a neutral cardboard background. During this time, showing these pictures to the public couldn’t be further from her mind. She is motivated far more by her interest in the encounter with herself and soon the experience of the almost cathartic of taking pictures that encourages her to continue the project. If she sees herself upset in the mirror, she feels, even during the shooting session, “cleansed” of the burden that she was carrying only a short while before.”

This I might be able to understand.

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