EGOMANIA is a highly intimate pursuit, a path of contemplation into my own narcissistic tendencies, an attempt to reveal the roots of narcissistic personality disorder. Therefore, the narrative of the poem is developed in the first person singular and the series of photographs revolves around my own image.
In my contemplative research, I revealed that narcissistic personality is rooted in our childhood. Our parents love us; they want the best for us. However, maybe unintentionally, they make us feel that their love needs to be deserved. Their opinion matters. If they think we behave well, we feel high; if they think we misbehave, we feel down. As a result, we disconnect from our own valuing process and focus on evaluations advanced by significant others. This frame of mind leaves us with the existential void, which can be filled only with responses from the outer world. Hence, people with narcissistic personality do everything to be praised, because only then they would feel worthwhile. These tendencies become exaggerated by narcissistic attitudes prevailing in individualistic ideology, which emphasizes exceptional individual abilities and high individual achievements and performance. Narcissistic personality multiplied by narcissistic social values encourages us to disconnect from our inner self, which in turn results in development of narcissistic personality disorder.
This project continues my experimental work in verbal-visual gestalts. Key methodology reflects theoretical considerations advanced by my studies in psychology of creativity. It is assumed that one of the major purposes of creative work is to elicit aesthetical reaction in the recipient. The aesthetical reaction could be achieved via satiation with multiple meanings presented through multiple sensory modalities. Thereby, a greater synergy is achieved, which in turn increases aesthetical reaction to a work of art.
In this project, I combine poetry and photography. The verbal plane is established by a poem running across all photograms in a series. The visual plane is established by centripetal series of the protagonist’s portraits. To achieve a greater synergy between verbal and visual planes, I introduced two elements of randomness to the relationship between a text and an image. First, regardless of the content of the verse and the facial expression of the portrait, both verbal and visual planes cover the entire space of the photogram. Convergence of text and image contours therefore appears to be arbitrary. Second, I employed cyanotype technique. This almost two hundred year old analog photographic printing process produces a cyan-blue print. The print develops in the open sunlight. The length of exposure, the intensity of light, and the angle of refraction affect the hues and the contrasts of different parts of the print. These factors cannot be fully controlled thereby imparting the element of unpredictability to the process.
This project was presented at SIKKA Art Fair.
30x30 cm cyanotype photograms