Face in the mirror

The birth of the subjectivity in the person was exemplified by Lacan in his writing in the `Mirror Stage´ (Lacan, 1977). In this paper, he describes how a child’s and a chimpanzee’s reactions in front of the mirror are similar until some stage in their maturity- approximately six months old- when the child develops an interest in the mirror image whereas the chimpanzee does not.

What in fact happens here is that the child starts to be captivated by his specular reflection in the mirror, and he finds in this reflection that he is watching something new, something that gives him a hypnotic fascination: Himself.

Thus, this image gives him a visualization of his body as a whole, offering to the child the image of a primordial symbolic matrix where the I of him is precipitated. At the same time, such an image introduces the child to a relationship of symmetry and reciprocity, but also to a relationship of frustration or fullness with himself. From that moment on, the child will be impregnated by his own figure, with the phantoms of its reality and with his imagination: a world of images.

This imaginary world will grow on. As Freud argues, in the first three or four years of someone’s life certain impressions stabilize our memory. As he points out “our earliest childhood memories will always be an object of special interest…those impressions have the most powerful effect on our whole future leads us to reflect on the emergence of conscious memory in general” (Freud, 2003: 19-21).

Among those images there will be stories and memories from where we can find the visual basis of each person’s memory. Images which somehow have conditioned the classification for the rest of the material that was added next.

Accordingly, the world becomes fixed because images in the mind are constructed on the basis of our memories of things, offering information about who someone is in time, space and sense. It is in this inter-textuality, where an image triggers off in our mind an older image that we already had, connecting both into inter-referential chains of citation.

One of these image is the core of the person identity.


Sebastian Guerrini 2014 – www.sebastianguerrini.com

My complete drawing at www.saatchiart.com

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