THE SELF-PORTRAIT EXPERIENCE (SPEX) is an artistic dispositive created by Cristina Nuñez in 2005, using autobiographic photography and video for the individual and social transformation. It is based on Nuñez’s personal practice with the self-portrait since 1988 to overcome self-stigma deriving from her teenage heroin addiction.

SPEX is a journey through all aspects of one’s life, with a series of artistic exercises, divided in three parts:

  • ME: emotions, character representation, body, places, roots.
  • ME AND THE OTHER: one-to-one relationship self-portraits and portraits
  • ME AND THE WORLD: group portraits and self-portraits

Participants work, both individually and in group, on the in-depth perception of the works produced, following SPEX’s artistic criteria of perception and choice, to discover that our perception is ever-changing and to establish an on-going dialogue with and between the images. Little by little participants build sequences that give shape to their self-portrait project, which can be the beginning of their visual autobiography.

SPEX: the objectives

SPEX is a powerful tool to transform our lives into artworks, which allow the expression of our authentic selves:

  1. To stimulate the unconscious creative process by transforming emotions into artworks.
  2. To improve participants’ self-image and perception of themselves.
  3. To improve participants’ public image and their perception of others and of society.

SPEX: the videos

To better understand SPEX, please watch Cristina Nuñez’s videos, SOMEONE TO LOVE and HIGHER SELF.

SOMEONE TO LOVE brings together for the first time the best self portraits taken by Spanish artist Cristina Nuñez during her life. The voice of the author accompanies the viewer through her family history and childhood, her troubled adolescence as a heroin addict and the evolution of her self-image, her relationships and the discovery of the self-portrait as a tool for self-therapy. The last sequence shows the project on her mother’s life, including collaborative self-portraits and family pictures, until her last breath.

The video HIGHER SELF is a presentation of the neohumanist philosophy of Cristina Nuñez, her innovative method and her vision of art as a powerful tool for social activism.

The video is a self-interview in which Nuñez exposes her ideas and methodology, giving the instructions for the “emotions exercise” and showing some of the collaborative self-portraits produced during her workshops.

Everybody possesses a Higher Self, even those who, because of their ostracism, seem to have forgotten it.

The method in prisons