The unbearable burden of conformity.

March 28th, 2014, 4pm

The weight of the habits, the idea of fate, always have been some very sensible points to me. When on my daily life I make sure to protect some time to allow a bit of chaos, I also make sure to forge strong habits during the first two days of my arrival in a foreign place. It reassures me to know that some doors are not closed by default, as to know that I can let me to be guided by a flow1.

In this respect, the work of Ron Mueck definitively had a strong impact on me.

On his hyperrealistic sculptures of us, one can read all the marks that have been printed by the human society: the wrinkles and gesture of the traditional life of an old couple (who stayed together so long because of love.. or habit?), this old naked man alone in the middle of a barque (feeling how suddenly weak he is since his journey is close to an end?), this middle-aged woman reduced to a children and shopping bags carrier…

But these not-real-size sculptures also pushed me to take a step back, and to watch, to become an observer on myself. To realize how this conditioning is part of the habit that we build. It was as being surrounded by other selves screaming Look ! Observe ! What is society, what are others doing to you ? Look how much you are shaped without noticing!

And then, my gaze met the other visitors, taking the pose of the sculptures for a photo. They were deaf to the screams. Instead of taking a step back, they were behaving even more conformally to what they are expecting to. Acting like the puppets.

Maybe there was not enough chaos in their life, maybe they could not see the others doors to be pushed. They were just following the flow written in and by the puppets.

This was definitely a delightful and extraordinary encounter, with a strength I had not experienced for a long time! I guess, this was my part of chaos for this year.

  1. Even better: try building a brook in your social working environment, amongst your colleagues; and see how it evolves — or dry up — in a river living by itself. 

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