Archive for individuation

Das Experiment

Posted in art and psychology, Uncategorized with tags , , on December 27, 2009 by artodisiac

I have been experimenting on some psychological stuff these days. The reason is that I have become the unconscious of Müjde Hanım for a project and exhibition for our visiting artist class in uni. What I decided to exhibit is the tree that could have been drawn by Mujde Hanım, so that I will be able to show her innerself in a single piece of work. So I went out to forest, examined all the trees until I found the one that most resembled what I would have drawn if I were her. My version of Koch's tree

Here I must give some information about the tree test of Koch, so as to illustrate why I had chosen this tree as a representation for her unconscious: The tree test is a projective test in which the person is asked to draw a tree(in my case it is the photo of it). In doing so, the participant expresses some aspects of his or her personality, ‘projecting’ his or her deep emotional way of confronting life. Koch (1964) points out that in the development of cultures, the tree has always been the synthesizing symbol of life. Bound to the earth with its roots and with trunk and and leafy branches outstreched, the tree symbolizes the fundamental antithesis of man, who must find a psychological equilibrium between materialism and spiritualism, between security and the continuing struggle with the events  of the external environment, between the dark, silence and slow movement of the underworld and the light, stimuli and lively reproduction on the surface. Koch used the test to study the development of man from infancy to adulthood and the effects of schooling, degree of intelligence, and psychological state, normal or disturbed.

The test is used much less today than in Koch’s time, because many others have been more suitable to the problems of technological society such as the reactions to the stimuli and demands of industry, to urbanization and consumerism and to standardized work. It is used in trying to understand the the personality and mental attitude of adults especially in diverse cultures…


Before I worked on the project that I wrote about in the above post, I was also thinking and experimenting on my own innerself and tried to visualize some of my deepest fears that I am aware of today… I am not sure if I am on the right track but this is what I came up with at the end of the day…

The metaphor of ‘light’

One of the deepest fears is probably getting hurt in the most unexpected time/place/way. My photo on the left  is a metaphor of course, the ‘hurt’ mentioned here is more psychological than physical. Probably that is the reason why our walls towards others are mostly as high as possible these days, like always in my case…

Spiral of Cistern

To fall into the state of  monotony and banal, to get bored of or not satisfied from what you create is probably one of the nightmares for the most as well…

Fear of death, unevitable for all…

I think this fear is good in a way since it is the stimulus that makes you live the way you like and appreciate at least being alive…

Short cuts are dangerous

Of course short cuts are dangerous. Do I like danger? Not very much. I am a bit coward in these terms. I always follow my dad’s motto: the way you are familiar is the one that is most suitable. That may be the reason I am a bit late on my way. I take my time to digest everything and decide on the next move. But isn’t it also a paradox that I always take risks in my life:) I have started from the beginning quiet a lot of times taking many risks in order to do what I have always dreamed of. Weird enough for a hesitant…

I’ve lost touch with my soul

Posted in art, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on December 16, 2009 by artodisiac



‘As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of

human existence is to kindle a light in the

darkness of mere being’

Carl Gustav Jung

I had the weirdest dream ever last night. The last couple of weeks I was rushing from one place to the other, trying to do lots at the same time yet not being satisfied from anything I do with my split mind. For example I was desperately trying to find a project to work on for one of my grad classes and I was really stuck. Suddenly I realized quiet painfully that I had lost the contact with my soul somewhere in the cacaphony. Thanks god, the catalyst I needed came quick, with this dream.  After a stressfull and tiring day, I experienced a weird moment in the lucid period  just before falling asleep. It is hard to explain and I really don’t want to mention it here, since it was a bit disturbing for me. It was quiet real and the reality of it made me remember every detail when I woke up. The day after, I found myself reading and refering to one of my favourite psychologists of all times, Carl Gustav Jung. And an idea just flashed in my head when I read about the ‘Red Book’ that was released very recently this year, 48 years after he died. Why do I not try doing my own version of  ‘Red Book’, I asked to myself…


Carl Gustav Jung


Before giving some more information about the new book, I would like to make a very brief introduction for him. Carl Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and founder of so called analytical psychology. His unique and broadly influential approach to psychology has emphasized understanding the psyche through exploring the worlds of dreams, art, mythology, world religion and philosophy. Although he was a theoretical psychologist and clinician for most of his life, much of his life’s work was spent exploring other realms, including Eastern and Western philosophy, alchemy, astrology, sociology, as well as literature and the arts. Jung emphasized the importance of balance and harmony. He cautioned that modern humans rely too heavily on science and logic and would benefit from integrating spirituality and appreciation of the unconscious realm. Carl Jung was also among many great personality theorists who drew inspiration and guidance from the ancient Greek Four Temperaments model and its various interpretations over the centuries. Carl Jung’s key book in this regard, which extended and explained his theories about personality types, was Psychological Types, published in 1921.

The Red Book

The Red Book is a nearly 100-year-old book, bound in red leather, which has spent the last quarter century secreted away in a bank vault in Switzerland. It is big and heavy and its spine is etched with gold letters that say “Liber Novus,” which is Latin for “New Book.” Its pages are made from thick cream-colored parchment and filled with paintings of otherworldly creatures and handwritten dialogues with gods and devils. As written by Sara Corbett in the New York Times magazine, between the book’s heavy covers a very modern story unfolds. It goes as follows: Man skids into midlife and loses his soul. Man goes looking for soul. After a lot of instructive hardship and adventure — taking place entirely in his head — he finds it again.

Apart from its intrinsic interest, it is a magnificent work of art (the original is on show at the Rubin Museum in New York). Written in German Gothic script, with an English translation, it is illustrated with tempera paintings by Jung which reveal him to be a gifted, if sometimes frightening, artist. Jung spent from 1914 to 1930 working on the book, which he felt had emerged from his “confrontation with the unconscious”. There is no final text, only an unfinished manuscript corpus. Yet it enables the reader to gain a window into the genesis of Jung’s psychology in a way that none of his published works has done. He develops his theory of “individuation”: that is, how personality develops over time and how an individual is split between the “I” (conscious existence) and the “self” (total personality including the unconscious mind). Jung came to believe that he had lost touch with his “soul”, that he had sacrificed it to science. “The Red Book” shows, in literary and symbolic form, his own process of individuation.

I also will try to confront with my unconscious and try to create my own version of the ‘Red Book’ for my project. I hope I can manage to finish it in one piece and not get further lost.

(An update: I have bought a copy of this famous Red Book, which costed me a little treasure (that I didn’t care evenif I had to starve for the rest of the month) and witnessed what a great piece of art it is. I think there is no way one can come nearer to it…)