June 15, 2016 @ 10:01 CET

Dear Ivan, 

It’s indeed striking; I hadn’t noticed it at all. Why would you continue to send those images of stone. Is it to open my eyes to something you’ve seen, the uncontrollable urge we have have to eternalise ourselves, to build things that confirm our actions, to validate us? I’ve been reading about our deeply ingrained inner urge to conform to the people around us, and by doing so, maintaining our status within the groups so as not to be cast out. Something that in the Stone Age was crucial for survival, is no longer. But that basic urge still governs part of us.

Look at any school class picture and you’ll see: most students will have the same hairstyle and clothes. The chance of people having done that without outside influence is infinitesimal. Though we pride ourselves on our individuality, maybe it would better to accept the influence of peers. 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 influence. Yet at the same time it is impossible to completely discard it; it unequivocally is part of us. Maybe the key lies in Plato’s dialogues with Socrates: learn to know thyself.

Sometimes I catch glimpses of myself. Those moments that I’m up in a tree, looking out.

Down below are the stone busts and statues of the ancient Greek philosophers in dialogue, thinking, disputing. Again stone. Again our attempt at eternity. 

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