Júlio de Matos Photography


JULIE IN THE MIRROR (1980 & 1990)


A short while ago, when I was passing the little room that no-one uses, I saw, through the open door, Julie kissing herself in the mirror. I saw it as an act of pure narcissism. Just as it is evoked in so many alluring photographs. Her hands touched the hands in the mirror, creating an expression of adoration and yielding in the kiss, and there was much fragility in the forced pose. I should have made some intimation, I should have destroyed the moment so it triggered others and faded away. But I walked on slowly, silently, and I should not have done so for the image stayed with me as much as the incomprehension.

Julie as a Narcissus indulging in her own image suggests the exclusion of others; the exclusion of myself. In her clearly erotic reverie, only she exists. And I, who had never noticed what she might notice; it suggested, I found myself perversely repeating , an unfulfilled identity and a disquiet, an emptiness, an incompleteness.

But that moment of which I took possession was a moment of her intimacy; narcissistic passion is always intimate, what we see as self-esteem is something else, masks of affirmation, disguises of dissatisfaction. In stealing this intimacy from Julie, I had made her need mine, I had made mine the desire that was still hers, but which was enveloped in senseless suspicions. I could not forgive her for having discovered herself, for having given herself only to herself.

Maria do Carmo Serén (writer)
June, 30th 2009

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