June 15, 2016 @ 10:01 CET

 

Dear Ivan, 

It's indeed striking what you mention, and I hadn’t noticed it at all. An interesting question indeed, why would you continue to send those images of stone. Is it maybe to open my eye to something you’ve seen, the uncontrollable urge mankind has to eternalise himself, to build things that confirm his actions, make him feel validated? I’ve been reading about our deeply engrained inner urge to conform to the people around us, and by doing so, keeping our position in the group so as not to be outcast and die. Something that in the Stone Age was crucial for survival, is now not anymore. But that basic urge - which has not evolved since - still governs part of us now.

Look at any two class images of any two years and you’ll see: most people will have the same style. The chance of people having done that individually without any outside social influence is infinitesimally small. Even though we all pride ourselves on our own individuality, maybe it would better to accept and try to understand this urge and its influence. We want to be eternal. We want our empire. We want our approval. It just takes a different shape for each of us.

We know it’s not healthy to be governed by this urge. Yet at the same time it is impossible to simply completely discard it; it unequivocally is part of us. Maybe the key lies in Plato’s dialogues with his master Socrates: know thyself. 

Know when it is You, and know when it is the urge telling you. Give them both their place, but know that the You is your core, and always is more important. Getting to listen to your You without the outside noise, is a hard thing to do.

Sometimes I catch glimpses of my Me. Maybe those are the moments that I’m up in my tree looking out, having pushed aside the final fig leaf.

Down below are the stone busts and statues of the ancient greek philosophers in dialogue, thinking, parting with their wisdom. Again stone. Again our attempt for eternity. My covered car awaits.

/// #image_by_image is an ongoing conversation between photographers Ivan Sigal and Anton Kusters@ivansigal and @antonkusters on Instagram ///