Thursday, July 29, 2010

Authentic Face

Sometimes the spectators at race meetings can be just as interesting as what is happening on the track. Many years ago when very young, my parents were most amused when they took me to the circus, because I spent most of my time looking at the audience! Chevalier and Gheerbrant say that the face is not for the owner but for other people (and for God). Some say it is the "ego laid bare", We could argue about personas and masks, but I will repeat the authors' paraphrasing of Max Picard: "to understand a face requires deliberation, patience, respect and with them, love. The face is alive when it expresses inner life, otherwise it's like Winnicott's "false self" - as fake as a seven euro note. My subject's face is alive with his love of motorcycling and being at the race meeting is important to him. Perhaps he was an racer of old. We do not know. But we are aware at a deep level that this face is authentic.