Self-Portrait in Pajamas, Priory Hospital (HUM470)

I’ve been prone to thinking visually so far this semester, largely because I’m teaching HUM 425: Thought and Image. With that in mind, it occurs to me that while we’ve been discussing Life Narrative we haven’t spent much time on the image as a means of self-representation. Some images are narrative– most obviously multiple images in sequence, as with a graphic novel. The core elements of narrative are time, event, and actor(s)– i.e., things happen. What do we do then with an image such as “Self-Portrait in Pajamas, Priory Hospital” (2002) by US American photographer Nan Goldin? Is there an autobiographical story here?