towards a surreal self portrait (multiple exposure) manifesto

The double/multiple exposures I'm doing now (#lexdoubleexposure on instagram) are not new. Not new for me, not new as a photographic technique. In the early days of film, before cameras got automatic advancement, it was easy to accidentally double expose. But surrealists have been using it as a (un)conscious technique for a long time.

(If you're interested in academic critique, check this out, on surrealism, double exposure and feminism. Very interesting, although I don't entirely agree.)

Doing them primarily as self-portraits (#365lex), though, that's taking it up a notch for me. I am finding myself producing images that make me swoon with artistic happiness.

Someone asked me, "What's up with all the double exposures?" I'm paraphrasing here) on Facebook a month or two ago and essentially the answer is simple: "They make me happy."

It makes sense to me, this direction my 365 project has taken. It's interesting to me, it combines several types of art that have long appealed to me (and influences from my most revered artistic heroes) and most of all, it makes me happy.

It isn't about pretty. It isn't even really about self-care (although my habit of taking self-portraits has helped tremendously with that aspect of my self-acceptance journey).

This is about me making art out of what is mine, truly and utterly mine: myself (and the world around me, which is deeply part of me).

And about capturing the deeper reality of life, the poetic truth.

The feeling that everything is in me and I am in everything.
The feeling that life is magnificent and mystical and confusing and amazing, all at once. 
The feeling that there is nothing and everything, all at once.

And they just make me happy.