A portrait presents above all the tension of a relation, but not a relation to “someone” else. To the contrary, a relation between two characters is not necessarily a “double portrait” but could just as well be offering up a scene or narrative, whereas the portrait does not tell a story but arrests every kind of speech, narration, or declaration in order to sustain an almost exclusive relation to itself. At the same time, the portrait’s self-relation constitutes the entire substance of the relation to the spectator, who is presented with someone as a “self” and not as an interlocutor—except perhaps as a silent interlocutor of itself. To put it in these terms: I am presented with a “me” (or an “I”) and therefore with another me and/or the “me” of another …...
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