Coinneach Shanks: A Psychotherapist in Dublin, Ireland
Thursday, February 4, 2016
The Head in the Window
This shop window in Rome had interesting reflections and the head in the centre front made an interesting combination. I remember lining it up so my refection wasn't there. But I think I became part of the nose! I already referred to the head as a symbol and not wishing to go over old ground, looked for others. In symbolism, things are never definite. Reflection makes a window into a mirror. Taken tgether with the head, the mirror reflects a divine instrument of enlightenment. It also denotes the creative mind. All in all, I'm pleased to be part of it then! As far as I recall, this is a lighting shop, so there's even more mileage in this photograph if I consider the importance of the mirror in film theory. This rests on Lacan's psychoanalytic development of Freud's substantial work on children. The very young child misrecognises his reflection in the mirror, but through regarding these fragments as unity, comes to builds the ego. The cinema viewer and indeed the viewer of the photograph similarly assume an omnipotence over the observed, famously referred to in the 1980s as "dominant specularity." But I am reminded of the notion that primordial light creates space. "Let there be light." In other words, light makes order from chaos. But mirror, light and head together - that's a heavy symbolic loading. If you dream of your reflection, which part of the body can you see? What nature of separation lies between you, the dreaming subject, and the mirror? The mirror is never a perfect reflection of any subject, so what's your feeling about what you see in the mirror?