THE NEW DANCE PROJECT
THE BLIND NARCISSIST
In Greek mythology, Narcissus was the son of the river god Cephissus and the nymph Liriope and famous for his beauty. While has was hiking the woods as a hunter, several admirers of both sexes fell in love with his appearance – without success since he was only devoted to his own beauty.
Nemesis, the goddess of revenge, decided to punish him for this behaviour and lured him to a lake where he saw the reflection of his image and fell in love without realizing that it was just a picture. Totally impressed by this beauty he was unable to leave. But each time he bent down to kiss it, it seemed to disappear. Narcissus grew more and more thirsty, but could not leave or disturb the pool of water for fear of losing sight of his reflection.
In the end, where he died of thirst, there appeared the narcissus flower, with its bright face and bowed neck.
In the contemporary linguistic usage a person who suffers from narcissism is associated with an exaggerated admiration of one's idealised self-perception. The phenomenon of narcissism was well known when Sigmund Freud took up the subject in one of his psychological theories. In his psychoanalysis narcissism claims a place in the regular course of human sexual development. According to Freud, we are not born with an ego; our sense of "having a self" evolves during infancy and early childhood due to the inability of a child to distinguish between one’s self and the mother. His/her libido focuses therefore only on himself/herself. In an abnormal grade, this feeling is present in adulthood accompanied by a kind of paranoia in which one considers himself godlike and better than others with the conclusion to give one’s self rights at the expense of others. The narcissist believes that it is natural for others to be in his service as he is characterized by selfishness, vanity and egocentrism.
Along goes the image of rulers all over the world, who embodied the summit of narcissism, raising their heads high, addressing their people, "Who are you to discuss with me”? They do not notice that they lost sight and insight, and that "narcissism" deprived them of communication with their people. What if the scenario is different? What if they listened to the protesters and received their criticisms and demands? The narcissist senses that he does not belong to places and people most of the time, as his mind constantly seeks to attract the attention and admiration of a new person in order to renew his resources that derive his self-confidence and self-respect. The narcissist is not satisfied with one person, and rarely continues in a long-term relationship, always seeking the short-term transitions that are subject to the conditions he sets. The only motive for his entry into any emotional relationship is the quest to find someone who fills the void inside him and is always available to meet his needs, desires and self-esteem. A narcissistic person is skilled at manipulating feelings, especially at the beginning of his emotional relations which explains why many “victims” fall into the narcissist’s trap easily. Everything is not real as it seems, but the motive of the behavior is built attraction to the other party. Despite maximum effort to change someone’s personal narcissism the end result is mostly the realization not being able to do so.
Since the rise of social media there have been many studies of online narcissism. One 2010 study notes that the emergence of the possible self “is most pronounced in anonymous online worlds, where accountability is lacking and the ‘true’ self can come out of hiding.” But non-anonymous social networks like Facebook, which this study was analyzing, “provide an ideal environment for the expression of the ‘hoped-for possible self,’ a subgroup of the possible-self. This state emphasizes realistic socially desirable identities an individual would like to establish given the right circumstances.”
THE BLIND NARCISSIST
at Messepark Trier
22nd-25th of October 2020
"Art is the highest form of hope" (Gerhard Richter)