The Photography Center in Geneva, Centre de la photographie, had an interesting exhibit which I visited recently. I particularly liked the work of Katja Glass. It got me thinking about self image. Have you ever stopped to consider what self image really means? It's an image, a picture, a snap shot in your head of who you are, right? It's a concept really. Something made up. We think in images. An accumulation of images defining who you are. Now how can you be a concept or an image? Can we conceptualize ourselves? We are a living, breathing, changing, moving human being, in the flow of life. An image, a photo, a picture, is static. We are not static. We are constantly in motion. Cells dividing, mutating, dying and being born a new.
Psychoanalysts say we're supposed to have a good self image in order to be happy. Is that really true? I'm certainly no expert in this area, I'm just a human being questioning these things. I do feel this can be very confusing for most of us. Imagine all these different labels and images vying for your attention. An accumulation of things people have said about you, experiences you've had, insults, praise, parental expectations, all things good and bad. The list goes on and on. Which one of these images is the real you? Maybe none. Which image you select probably reflects your current mood and who you've recently spent time with. Can we choose and select who we are? Pick an image and live up to it. Or are we always in a process of growing, becoming or simply being?
We seem to be so easily influenced as human beings. We either respond to flattery or insults rather quickly.
Now, what if we were to drop all these images? What is there then? Nothing? The real you perhaps? Freedom? Maybe its a relief to drop all these stories in our heads. Plus, its hard to live up to some images. Imagine the effort put forth to keep up an image of something you really are not. What a burden. Or images of failure and success? I say images are a burden and of little value. You are a success because you were born and are alive. You are part of this miracle called life. The greatest mystery of all mysteries. You are much more grand than any image created by yourself or another.