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The psychology of extra terrestrial life

These canvasses are inspired by Rorschach tests, mirrored ink blots that were utilized by the Swiss Freudian psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Hermann Rorschach. By showing a mirrored ink blot to a patient, he was able to construct a subjective psychological report for the patient’s psychiatrist. This method was subject to criticism, mainly because of a lack of scientifically founded questions and because the story of the patient was interpreted subjectively.

It is sometimes difficult to explain that a series about extraterrestrial life does not have to be about extraterrestrial life. This series is about mirroring your own subjective observations, taking into account that an objective world does not exist for anyone. People continuously adjust their view of the world. Because people want to adjust the unpleasant tension of contradictory beliefs (cognitive dissonance).

When hearing a completely objective story, it could still mean an individual to choose not to believe it. It sounds just like a fake news article on Facebook that could fit in with this zeitgeist. But that is not it, it is a story from 1947 that I prefer to tell on birthdays from time to time.

 

 

 

The story
At the Roswell incident in 1947 (Roswell, New Mexico, USA), a group of people witnessed first-hand the crash-landing of a UFO. People reported what they saw, the press asked them questions and wrote down the answers.

The next day, newspapers were filled with reports on the UFO. Two days after the incident, however, the government issued an entirely new statement explaining the incident: it had been a crashed weather balloon. The statements of the witnesses were stamped out and ridiculed and both the UFO and the alien bodies were removed from the crash-site by the government. Years later, the witnesses still told their side of the story.

Since that time, governments have kept huge files containing accounts of people who are supposed to have witnessed UFOs. Despite the democracy and transparency of Western governments, many of these files remain confidential. In the United States in particular these confidential files draw the ire of ‘believers’. Many Western politicians acknowledge the existence of extraterrestrial life and try to get the files – which they can access – out into the public eye.

A conflicting common belief
But are these facts enough to make you believe the story? It is not about believing. It is about the reasons to believe in it or not.

In the history of mankind, the subjective conviction of the individual creates the truth, rather than the facts. Our history tells us that certain facts are a taboo in our society. They are not true or they have not occurred. That is not the result of the absence of facts, there is only a conflicting common belief.

We see in world politics that a subjective world is created to achieve the goals of political parties. But the view on the course of world history is different in every country. In a healthy society, facts are indispensable but they are rarely used.

The work
These canvasses are inspired by Rorschach tests, mirrored ink blots that were utilized by the Swiss Freudian psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Hermann Rorschach. By showing a mirrored ink blot to a patient, he was able to construct a subjective psychological report for the patient’s psychiatrist. This method was subject to criticism, mainly because of a lack of scientifically founded questions and because the story of the patient was interpreted subjectively.

Much like the experiences of UFO witnesses, their stories are viewed as being subjective, someone’s personal vision of ‘the truth’. Objectively and scientifically, these stories should never become the truth, but this truth definitely does exist in the minds of these witnesses.

These psychological folded and mirrored paintings are, like the Rorschach tests, a way to stir up subjective information in the mind of the viewer.

You do not get reasons to believe in anything, you choose for yourself.

Dimensions

22,5 x 34 cm (frame included)

Series

The psychology of extra terrestrial life

Materials

Linnen and a special acryl based blend.

Year

2014

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