“Since photography appeared in the 19th century, photographers began actively attempting to make self-portraits, which before this period, was mainly the purview of painters. However, I believe that the way photographers make self-portraits is somehow different from the ones that painters make. Painters tend to seek and explore a “unique-self” centripetally, so to speak. On the other hand, artists using photography usually strive to separate and break themselves down at each stage in multi-dimensions at first, and as time goes by, they would accept the transformation
of themselves as the way it is, and record them in photography without idealization.
It can be said that Misako Oba’s photographic series FAUSTUS is also descended from the shared ancestry of the experiment of self-portraits by such artists. […..]
In the wake of the abnormal bleeding from her little finger, she experienced one after another, the stages of ‘fear, sadness, anger, confusion, conflict, despair, and even acceptance, hope, and joy.’
What is unique about her FAUSTUS project is that she continued photographing scrupulously over time the large physical shift, as well as the mental and emotional
fluctuations. In the meantime, she also photographed the drawings made with her own fresh blood, and the notes with trembling characters written by her shaking hand.[…..] by viewing those images that were recorded over the course of the process, I came to feel her physical pain and emotional shakes. This is a shared solidarity with the personal, unique points of others. More or less, it would be quite possible for us to fall into a similar situation in our lives.
By presenting her story in the form of a self-portrait, Oba seems to be attempting to share her experiences, such as agony and hope, as a more openly universal story, instead of making it an isolated personal incident. Her attempt seems to be admirably successful.”
Some quotes from commentary titled
Sharing of Agony and Hope,
by Kotaro Iizawa (Photography critic) on Misako Oba’s [FAUSTUS]