What Lies Beneath the Creative Activity: A Hollow Study of the Realm of Unconscious

I will be diving deep to the studies of unconscious and behaviours lying under the creative activity for my VIS512 paper, here is the abstract of it…

Ebru Sürek

Istanbul, 08.03.2010

Abstract: It seems that there lies a strict distinction between what is perceived as real and virtual for the most in our modern world. However, as imagination pulled the trigger, the reality started to be questioned in time and that was probably the point where the progress started. Playing with perceptions and reality using a bit of imagination changed a lot throughout history. Do the names like Galileo, Archimedes, Edison ring a bell? There is, in fact, no need to go back that far. The first few decades of the twentieth century for example, saw a great deal of experimentation that dived deep into the imaginative world of literature, music, visual arts and psychology. Writers and musicians tried to go out of the strict borders of representational conventions, artists seemed to explore unconscious and depicted inner experiences, dreams, visions and fantasies. From automatic drawings of surrealist artists, gothic works of writers such as Gustav Meyrink and miraculous tunes of an untouchable instrument invented by Leon Theremin, a close proximity can be realized with the researches of psychologists who were engaged in similar explorations.

The purpose of this study is to examine the psychological motives lying behind the creation of artistic works. For this aim, a number of pioneering studies will be studied to focus on the behaviours of artists during their creative activities.

The main reference of this study will be one of the most important figures of psychology, Carl Gustav Jung. The first part will provide an introductory framework to the analysis of psyche of the artist through Jung’s world famous dream analysis. Jung will further be cited in this part through his studies concentrating on unconscious and the translation of dream symbolism into works of art.

The second part of the study will provide other related studies on some projective tests (i.e Rorschach, TAT (Thematic Apperception Test), Koch’s Tree Test, etc.) that are used to analyze behaviours of artists.

Every individual can use art to bring forward messages from his or her own personal unconscious. But as Jung puts forward, the vital role of the artist is to help us see the messages that emanate from the collective unconscious. He claims that the artist seizes the image in his unconscious, brings it into relation with conscious values, thereby transforming it until it can be accepted by the minds of his contemporaries according to their powers.

At this point, some examples from Turkish artists will be given to finalize the study. A broad range of art works from painting to literature will be analyzed in the light of the conceptual tools covered in this study. Together with the theoretical analysis, a couple of interviews and projective tests will also be provided so as to have a more comprehensive and interpretive look at the psychological motives lying behind the creation of artistic works.

Keywords: Psyche, arts and psychology, unconscious, projective tests for artists, dream analysis, Carl Gustav Jung, Leon Theremin

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3 Responses to “What Lies Beneath the Creative Activity: A Hollow Study of the Realm of Unconscious”

  1. Well… that’s interessting but honestly i have a hard time seeing it… wonder how others think about this..

  2. to me the underlying psychology of the creative soul is at first primitive in the need to cry out in the wilderness, secondly we have the urge to communicate with our surroundings and ourselves, and interact with others of our species. beyond that, i think maybe god only knows.. whatever god that was..

  3. […] Lies Beneath the Creative Activity: https://artodisiac.wordpress.com/2010/03/09/what-lies-beneath-the-creative-activity-a-hollow-study-of… Like this:LikeBe the first to like this. Categories […]

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