>The Art of Narcissism


QUOTE: “In the self-portraits, you can find a lot of stereotypes and icons from movies, advertising and the music industry. Somehow, this network of self-portraits is a mirror of society.”
I do not get it, not fully. Of course I understand that we are infinitely interesting to ourselves. How could we not be? We are the primary source of pleasure and pain in our lives. We are the source of cravings and source of satisfaction. We are for ourselves like we cannot be for anything or anyone else.
I know this insight sounds profoundly idiotic. My point precisely. It is as idiotic as narcissism.
Why do we love ourselves so much? Why would we turn the camera at ourselves, over and over?
First a confession: I have not ever, to the best of my recollection, done a self-portrait. At least not for the pleasure of it. I have had my picture taken for various official documents and other means of identification. But I fail to see the need of capturing a self-portrait. A collolary confession: I do not find self-portraits of other people particularly interesting. Portraits I really do like. It is self portraiture which is uninteresting to me.
Still, like everyone else, once shown a group picture, my eyes first scan it looking for myself. And only then will I look for others.
Do I not remember the event which is being pictured? Was I not there? It must be something about having a chance to see me through another's eyes which is interestinng, perhaps. So this is how I look to you!
Because it is very very hard to break out of myself and see me as an "other." I would not say it is impossible, but it is a difficult trick. I live in this bubble of "me" which filters, tints and taints all that I am and do.
Self-portraiture might be either a way to increase the strentgh of this "me-field," reinforcing my self-esteem (a la the Twitter revelations of (in)famous celebreties and politicians), or it could be a way to help my egocentricity to lose its hold, to allow me to see myself as other, and thus weaken the grasp of the ego in defining my self-importance.

About spaceloom

An urban monk, and an experienced spiritual director with a Masters in Psychology. Married with two children. Want to know me better? Read my thoughts.
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