Containment, Thoughts

I have an overwhelming need to be contained. Whether by strong arms or tight jeans.

The body and fear of the body is something I have yet to understand. Sociology is blowing my little mind into the abyss: the body politic, the role and policing of the body, the pressures that are inherent in our cultures and societies that are ever-present and subtlety moulding us into what is expected. I’ve become increasingly suspicious, and horrifically cynical (more so than before, bless me).

Everything that occurs suddenly has meaning and purpose. The constant narrative in my head, sometimes visualising the words as I think them, has become punctured by question marks. The points dotted ferociously. I have been conditioned into someone that is incredibly self-reflective. This comes after years of therapy, general misunderstanding, and repeated existential crises. I was never a child that asked why. You know those kids, they think it’s funny to why – why – why until you’re explaining gravity and construction of particles. I was not that kid. I work with independent intrigue, and a keen need to understand. I need to know things. And be certain in my understanding and knowledge. This becomes complicated in the realm of GCSE physics (“it just does, Katya” NOT GOOD ENOUGH MR MURRAY) and also when contemplating the self.

There are theories and then there are more theories. So far I like to think that my own aren’t as far fetched as Freud’s or Foucault’s. I enjoy thinking about how their ideas came about, how they were published and became influential by providing explanation to things that fundamentally already exist. They didn’t invent calculus or the scale; they observed and then made up names for things, including things that seem, well, obvious. I like the idea that I’ll come across something obvious and pre-existing and say, hey, you know this abstract thing that we all have experienced? Yeah, I’m going to offer an explanation as to why this happens. Like modern art – it’s the “I could’ve done that” “..but you didn’t” principle.

A bit like the bible, really.

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3 thoughts on “Containment, Thoughts

  1. This post is amazing. Could you please continue and make the connection to modern art and the Bible? I’m sure you are familiar with Socrates’ theory of education (via Plato) that claims we don’t really teach children anything, we just remind them of what they already know. When I read, “So far I like to think that my own aren’t as far fetched as Freud’s or Foucault’s. I enjoy thinking about how their ideas came about, how they were published and became influential by providing explanation to things that fundamentally already exist. They didn’t invent calculus or the scale; they observed and then made up names for things, including things that seem, well, obvious,” I laughed out loud because so much of what we are given to read as freshmen and sophomores in college made me think the same thing–like isn’t that a given? How could people even organize their thoughts without that concept? I guess what we have to do is try to understand and appreciate a paradigm in which there was no formal study of what we call sociology or psychology or a lot of other ‘cologies we all take for granted now.

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    1. Thank you so much for such a positive response! I think that that’s why those masters of the ‘cologies got such recognition: they gave us a means to organise our thoughts. They created concepts structured out of things we would’ve otherwise assumed natural. What I find most interesting is applying information that I know now to the past – so, the application of Foucault’s power dynamic to the relationship with a past psychiatrist, or looking at my old school and thinking of his theories on the operation of power in institutions, seeing how it all fits together. Maybe that’s why sociology sometimes irks me, it’s “well, I’m actively part of this, why hadn’t I noticed it before I read about it, even if it did give me an ‘ah-ha!’ moment?”

      When I think of the bible, I think of the need for answers, for explanation. Observation and fitting things into place to provide something self-satisfying. The bible holds immense power. It introduces laws in their most basic form, and it formalises value systems (to kill is bad, to judge is bad etc). How is this relevant to modern art? The principle of invention is similar. I think this connection is heightened by the fact I’m a non-believer, but the gut feeling I get when I’m listening to or reading something that ties back to the bible, is the same feeling I get when I walk into the Tate Modern and see a glass shelf with a glass of water on it named ‘The Oak Tree’. It’s the feeling of convenience. Something no one has done before, something new that you yourself may not have thought of but now seeing it it seems simple enough for anyone to have done it, and I find there’s something uncomfortable about what the creator or inventor gains in return.

      (All opinions, here. And probably poorly formed ones as it’s just hit 5AM!)

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      1. Do you think the ‘aha!’ moment for the glass of water titled oak tree is a Zen moment? In which case, the ‘aha!’ is the real art being produced? Does that make the compensation for the piece more comfortable?

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