Summer University Reboot

Jana Antonissen + Aya Noël

The Romanticisation of the Self

22 August

In an age where image building is everywhere, romanticizing (and thus commodifying) the self has become inevitable and ubiquitous, also within the arts. Autobiographical writing, be it the form of novels, columns or essays and journalistic articles, has never been so popular: we are obsessed with writing - and reading - about ourselves.This does not come without ethical consequences/challenges. Should you, for example, spare your surroundings? How far can and should one go when it comes to using own suffering as writing material? What about the suffering of others? Fashion is an industry that specialised in the commodification of personal identity. Always balancing the tightrope between creativity and consumption through limited- edition sneakers and personalised hoodies, fashion is reliant on the myth of the individual to sell mass produced goods. Now, fashion has discovered a particularly successful persona when it comes to pushing product… the artist. 

Jana and Aya will give separate introductions into their respective fields (fashion and autobiographical writing), showcasing how individualism and personal branding in the era of social media have further commodified the artist/writer persona.These presentations serve as an introduction to the following group discussion, where we will explore the challenges and consequences of image building in other artistic sectors.

Could a solution to the individualisation of our fields be found in creation and writing itself? Can the hyperpersonal serve us collectively?