The Unstable Self



We thought of the Unstable Self while discussing the works of Jacques Lizène, Lucas Samaras and Douglas Gordon.

Unlike in the myth of Narcissus, in real life we rarely fall in love with ourselves. Looking at a reflecting pool one can encounter the abyssal unknown or come face to face with a chimaera: a monster composed by more than one animal. The randomness and transitional nature of what we are, the constant internal battle between opposing tendencies within us and the fluidity of what we often perceive with certainty as our anchor to existence is revealed with deep introspection, psychoanalysis, chemical substances and mind affecting diseases. Maybe it is this knowledge, that self is not a topos but a journey, which saves us from the vengeance of Nemesis.

We are monsters, Lizène states, accidental mixtures of two sources of genetical material, he therefore took a vasectomy not to procreate, after that it is joyful to be a “cadavre exquis”. Gordon confronts in Self Portrait (Kissing with Scopolamine) his own reflection by kissing another face with a truth drug on his lips. Samaras makes with Self what amounts to an autobiography through his body.

Items View all

Actors View all