Narrative Personae and Visual Signs: Reading Leonard’s intimate photo-memoir. a/b: Auto/Biography Studies.
: In this paper, I look at Joanne Leonard’s Being in Pictures and engage in a critical dialogue with an assemblage of visual and textual narratives that comprise her intimate photo memoir. In doing this I draw on Hannah Arendt’s take on narratives as tangible traces of uniqueness and plurality, political traits par excellence in the cultural histories of the human condition. Being aware of my role as a reader/viewer/interpreter of a woman artist’s auto/biographical narratives, I move beyond dilemmas of representation or questions of unveiling “the real Leonard”. The artist is instead configured as a narrative persona, whose narratives respond to three interrelated themes of inquiry, namely the visualization of spatial technologies, vulnerability and the gendering of memory.\ud \ud Key words: gendered memories, narrative persona, spatial technologies, photo memoir, vulnerability