It’s been a while since I pondered Jungian theory, or indeed anything psychoanalytical. The need to dissect my psyche has diminished somewhat with the birth of more settled times. However, today I have found myself pondering carelessly over my self-development, particularly the changes within me that have come about with age, or god forbid even wisdom. I was reminded of the revelation I had when I discovered the Jungian theory of the archetype, in particular the shadow, which supposedly hides within the depths of us all. I could finally name that dark energy that I have carried with me since I left the innocence of childhood; the rebel and the risk taker that was intent on following the path to self-destruction; with no stop button might I add.
I have a lot to thank for my shadow though. It is a part of me after all. In all its chaotic splendour it has made me take the kind of risks that has made me the person I am today; all the mistakes and all the journeys. The shadow is most evident in teenage rebellion and the choices I made during those times have shaped my friend groups, my passions and my callings. It has fuelled my transgressive artwork, surfaced the fears that I have to face and has damn well partied hard with me too!
Today’s revelation however is a freeing one. I have realised how detached I am from my shadow, that dark side of my psyche. Yes I do still have fleeting moments of the want for rebellion, whether it’s to get another piercing, make an anarchic statement about the state of society or drink my own bodyweight in rum. But that’s all those moments are; fleeting.
My shadow will always be with me, its need for individuality is intrinsically engrained. But I’m finding it so much easier to listen to what it says and make calculated decisions whether to listen.
Digressing from the realms of confessional art, my focus has landed on the causes our global epidemic, the symptomatic human condition. Where previously I laid blame on the design flaws of the human psyche, I have recently admitted that there may be other forces at work.
Yes we are living in a virtual reality, forgetting who we really are and living our lives through our egos like characters in a video game. Every completed level providing nothing more than a key to the next, where there’s yet more puzzles, more enemies to beat and more of a chance it seems, of ending up right back at the beginning again. But it’s not the ego alone that keeps us within this construct; it’s also the carefully designed layout of the game. The layout panders to our every want and need. Our own egoic traits being used against us as we blindly consume, acquire and own, whilst forever collecting those little shiny coins.
Now ideally I would like to stop playing this game completely. But until a considerable amount of people also make this choice; we are stuck here because we have no easy alternative. I am on a quest to bring about awareness and therefore bring about change. I, like many others, am trying to change the world. And I do so through my creative endeavours. My artwork is a direct consequence of my quest for knowledge, my search for the truth and my hope for change. My medium where possible reflects my dislike for materialism and consumerism. I use audio-visual technology and online writing to make immaterial art, temporary art and art that tries to escape the evils of commodity fetishism and monetary worth. It only “tries” at the moment because inevitably whilst we’re still stuck in this system it’s much too easy to get dragged back down with it. But this serves as a reminder as to why I am doing all this.
Sometimes we are given a gift; people come to us on this earth with an exceptional talent but much too often their pain is evident.
Their pain to me is a direct representation of what we all feel as we endure the unnatural state of society that we are now trapped in.
I see these people and I feel their pain; I feel loss. And it hurts that there are people in power that could work to minimise the pain that humanity suffers, but are instead wrapped up in their own greed. I blame these people for the loss of an infinite number of beautiful souls. How many more are we going to lose?