We are Narcisses
When Narcissus, a hunter full of hubris and supercilious wont was lured by the goddess of retribution, Nemesis into a pool, the hunter, so enchanted by his own beauty that he falls in love with himself and he wouldn’t leave the side of the pool until he dies. Thus, the word ‘Narcissistic’. Now, it is easy relate a lot of post-modern indignation of our own self with this mythological hunter. Especially, with the new culture. Selfie culture. Of course we are not going to die capturing selfies on our ingeniously designed, slick, cell phones with the ability to catalyze a human being into being both dumb and genius, whatever their personal preference.
I like to watch people. Plainly observe them without any judgements or preconception. This way I don’t have to do drugs to make my life, even remotely interesting. In my experience, to understand another individual, one has to completely love them. Not for who they are but for what they are doing or might do. This makes such a scrutiny more engaging. So, I feign love and I examine my subjects. All pleasures of life come from vanity, I suppose.
The story of Narcissus and his bizarre demise has been a powerful allegory to people with catatonic scruples. These are the kind of people who make others feel that the world is a bad place to be on. There is an obsession to self among these people. Of course there is such an obsession inherent among all humans too. So, this classic by Ovid which depicts a hubris and disdain among other fervent themes pertaining to humanity, has been reinvented by French artists Chloé Curé and Bertrand Lanthiez with interactive anti-selfie mirror. The idea is, one’s image distorts reflection more the person looks into it.
The Vimeo link says, “The more the viewers look at themselves, the more their faces are deformed, leading them to question their relation to their own image”.
This pretty much sums up my attention to the topic.