Almost four years ago, I was ascending the chronic throne of crisis. You see, every so often, I, as supreme leader of my reign, decide to invade another territory of my life’s tumultuous abundance of emotions. It is almost always a subconscious decision, as if some omniscient being gets bored of my relaxed pace and decides to fuck with me by dangling that quixotic carrot. Sometimes I attempt to conquer love, and sometimes it’s another kind of passion. Sometimes I don’t even know what I’m attempting to conquer at all. What I do know is that I always learn from my endeavors, however torturous as they may seem, and I always seem to win and thereby expand my kingdom.
When I was going through said crisis in Costa Rica, I could’ve easily continued in my rituals of ignorance and avoidance. Instead, I decided to enlist the assistance of others who have gone through similar states of psychosis. It was when I read the Art of War that I realized the only party worth fighting was that of my own enemies. In college, I skipped most of Intro to Psychology to day drink and build up my liquid courage, so I thought that only Jake LaMotta had inner demons. Alas, my inquisitiveness led me to Carl Jung and his “shadow aspect” theory.
Jung proposed that our “shadows” are usually the negative images of our personalities; ones we are embarrassed to admit we possess and sometimes shun. People who don’t acknowledge their shadows often find them to be much darker. “The shadow, in being instinctive and irrational, is prone to psychological projection: leading to the realisation of a perceived personal inferiority being recognised as a perceived moral deficiency in someone else.”
I became enthralled with Jung’s theory and was inspired to divert the energies that were draining me emotionally to something that would be creative instead of destructive. Being that I was already experimenting with photography, I went out to the center of Costa Rica’s capital, San José, and shot people’s shadows. Specifically, I wanted to create diptychs of what people’s shadows looked like physically, and what shadows they may hide behind their eyes.
I intended to continue to shoot this series, but eventually lost a bit of the desire. It wasn’t because I was lazy. I simply finished using it as my outlet and thesis for my annual psychology lesson. Hopefully my next crisis will be just as inspirational.