Dora Dalila Cheffi, a Finnish-Tunisian artist, belongs nowhere. We meet at the artist's studio at the Cape Town Art Residency to discuss her self-portraits. A tall mirror is a striking studio tool. There, reversed, the artist sees herself. Or, rather, after Heraclitus, she understands that ‘Just as the river where I step / is not the same, and is, / so I am as I am not.’ ‘Why bother painting a “realistic” portrait when you can take a photograph?’ Cheffi’s remark is not idle – paintings deceive, but so do photographs. What we deem personhood, or The Self, is a necessity and an illusion – I amas I am not.

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