THE SOCIAL PARANOIA
OF UNCONSCIOUS INFLUENCES
21. MAY – 15. AUG 2010 //
exhibited at the graduation show 'Afgang 2010'
Reflections related to my practice
On constructed reality,
the social paranoia of mankind
and our anxiety of the social structures
by Michael Würtz Overbeck
In the realm between reality and fiction, there is a tendency to draw a very sharp line which divides and separates the two. Reality is one entity, while fiction is another. Does this sharp line however exist? Isn't everything just a man-made construction? Reality becomes fiction. Fiction becomes reality. It becomes a blurry grey area in which reality and fiction are constantly intertwining without clearly manifesting themselves. A constructed reality emerges through this.
Once in a while reality crumbles up and becomes confusing, dense, and impermeable. Does reality remain the same, when walking from one room to another? Perhaps the world is not what one expected it to be, when opening a door and peeping through it. And having walked through the door, entered and looking back, does the world remain the same where one left it? Thus, the reality of the individual can come to appear as a web of mental states; a map over the mind, that explicitly manifest itself physically, in the individuals surroundings through his or hers optics.
As an individual our recognition of the world is a completely subjective perception of the world and how we view it. Through private experiences, curiousness, explorations, and selective personal interpretations is reality constructed, as one and only one individual perceives it. Reality, as the individual person perceives it is different from one person to the next. The only perception of reality that can be trusted is hence, only our own. However, as individuals we are constantly influenced by other individuals, which influences the way we recognizes the world. And thus is the individuals reality transformed into a collectively perceived reality which everybody has a congruence and effect upon. Therefore, any individual who wants to be part of, and act within the commonly perceived reality, must fit, and subject oneself to this realitys values, in order for the realitys foundation to remain stable. This is not necessarily a conscious choice or a choice at all, but more a unconscious submitting to the social norms.
The individuals subjective conscience is thus being influenced, both consciously and unconsciously, by his parents values, other peoples values in the social sphere, societys general values, the rhetoric of these people, the media and politicians. This contributes to the creation of the individual as a person, and creates invisible social structures that the individual automatically acts within. But through this constant flow of exogenous impressions and influences, that influences how the individual recognizes reality; it is possible to be influenced in a direction that cannot always be said to be positive. We do not necessarily have any actual control of the social structures that we are born and raised into. Even though one might like to, it is impossible not to be influenced by these social structures.
As a human being it is not certain that one can disregard these exogenous influences and they will implicitly and unknowingly be imbedded in the individual. Even though one can rationally and consciously separate and filter the way one wishes to perceive reality, as well as how one acts and relates to other individuals, these imbedded influences - in which light we view others, the rhetoric about one thing or the other - will surface and sway ones analysis and interpretation of different situations in one way or the other, as well as ones perception of reality.
The social paranoia manifest itself and occurs in the moment it is realized that one has been unconsciously influenced by social structures taking shape as prejudices and biased opinions about people or events that unconsciously influences one in another direction than one would normally and rationally prefer. It is in such conflicts between conscious and unconscious positions that tensions arise and enables invisible structures to become visible for the individual. Who are you as an individual; as a person? Is it even possible as an individual to have any control over who you are and which circumstances help to shape you? These questions raises new questions such as: What can I, as an individual even do if: I am not the person that I want to be, and thought I was, if there is some sort of exogenous power or structure that is completely beyond my control, which may have an influence upon who I am as a person, individual, and human being?
In the schism between the conscious and unconscious values lies a general anxiety about these social structures which is embedded in the recognition of the fact that as an individual, one is deeply influenced by all other individuals who constantly influence, and move ones perception of reality, and that one does not necessarily have any control over this.
The text is from the exhibition catalog '11', 2010
The installation work 'The social paranoia of unconscious influences' was exhibited at the graduation show 'Afgang 2010: The Funen Art Academy' in 2010 at Brandts.