FILIPPOS TSITSOPOULOS I Am Lafcadio Hearn 2009 - x +
TsiF2009lafc

CN: TsiF2009lafc

MT: Lambda print on paper mounted on aluminum (100x80)

CT: PhotoLab, Athens - 2009

CM: Filippos Tsitsopoulos was fascinated upon encountering the archival photograph of 1900 that presents Lafcadio Hearn as teacher of English Literature at the Imperial University of Tokyo, taken shortly before his premature death. Being convinced that this profile portrait brings out the amalgam of his personality at its strongest, at once Tsitsopoulos felt like redefining himself as Lafcadio. In appropriating this visual, Tsitsopoulos put on Lafcadio's face a digital rendering of his own, enriched with ikebana (Japanese flower arrangement) and claimed "In my other life I am Lafcadio Hearn". Such a case of a tendency towards a double personality reveals what the artist calls an 'identidy crisis painting anomie'. On the one hand, 'identity' is a subjective sense as well as an observable quality of personal sameness and continuity, paired with some belief in the sameness and continuity of some shared world image. As a quality of unself-conscious living, this can be gloriously obvious in a young person who has found himself as he has found his communality. On the other hand 'anomie', in contemporary English language, is a sociological term primarily attributed to the French sociologist Émile Durkheim (1858-1917), identified with a personal condition in which one either has a lack of norms or of norms that are too rigid. In common parlance anomie is thought to mean something like "at loose ends". The identidy crisis painting anomie here recalls the phrase 'identity crisis' coined by Erik Homburger Erikson (1902-1994) the German-born psychologist and psychoanalyst, known for his theory on social development of human beings. Erikson suggested that people experience an identity crisis when they lose "a sense of personal sameness and historical continuity". Given today's rapid development in technology, global economy, dynamics in local and world politics, one might expect identity crises to recur more commonly now than when Erikson formed his theory. In his own crisis of personality Tsitsopoulos identifies with Lafcadio so that he may see the world anew through his all-embracing vision.

[Megakles Rogakos 04/2009]

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