“While our mortality is inexorable – we are, in a sense, always already dead – we are also always already other to ourselves, and so our death is, in a sense, forever forestalled; (…) We may, for all intents and purposes, be already dead or, perhaps more accurately, caught in the endless feedback loop of eternal return that Derrida so eloquently describes.
The photographic self-portrait is particularly revealing in terms of these profound questions. Due to its status as representation, it opens the photographed subject-as well as the viewing subject to otherness and so to an ongoing “life” in later worlds of interpretation. The photographic self-portrait is like history or the memory that forms it: it never stands still but, rather, takes its meaning from an infinite stream of future engagements wherein new desires and fascinations produce new contours for the subject depicted. .”
Amelia Jones in The “Eternal Return”: Self-Portrait Photography as a Technology of Embodiment; Signs, Vol. 27, No. 4 (Summer, 2002), pp. 947-978; The University of Chicago Press