“Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.”
Taken from the compendium of Susan Sontag’s written essays [On Photography, 1977] ‘The Eye of God’ represents the idea that people in the modern age are less concerned with judgement in the eyes of their chosen religious deity(s) or in fact are less likely to behave in accordance to this assumption of this judgement. Instead, people tend to worry more about how they are perceived by others through the medium of the photographic lens and are much more likely to develop their lives and personas around their outward expressions and perception of self image. This idea (in itself) has become increasingly more relevant since 1977, with the introduction of social media and the plethora of platforms available to the masses – not to mention the availability of the camera, with the modern mobile telephone becoming an extension of a person almost by right.
Thus, the photographic lens has taken precedence over the role of ‘God’ in the modern age. It is the means by which one may document their personal lives in explicit detail, the means by which a person may manipulate/sculpt their external image so as to appear less mundane unto their peers and it is also the means by which a person may prove that they truly exist. What becomes of such a behaviour is that a person then becomes susceptible to the critical judgement of others and can become much more narcissistic in the process.
Often, the judgement an individual may face throughout the process of creating their online persona is much more critical (and/or abusive) than it ever would have been in the outside world – due to the unbound and limitless stream of consciousness that becomes of anonymity and mob mentality behind the omnipresent ‘device’. This behaviour can be extremely damaging for a person of limited understanding of such things, inducing depression, anxiety, anger and much more. With this in mind, it becomes easy to see why when someones entire life (or at least the perception of such) comes under scrutiny by others of a similar ilk, the fear of judgement is born.
On a personal basis, I don’t indulge in such limitations of character. Of course – if someone is critical or my work (or worse; ignores it) I will have the same negative reaction. This is the natural response to something which one takes pride in coming into question! But, ‘The Eye of God’ also represents the challenge in which I have presented unto myself – to bare my creative energy to the wider public, to embrace any and all judgement and to rise above themediocrity of the average life lived in vain.
“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.”
I have always found ways by which to channel my burning creativity – but out of all of my previous endeavours, photography has become my one true obsession and something which I can clearly see developing in the future and define myself by. So, with this being said, I seek not to create a new persona; instead I aim to capture the world around me, to create something which may form my lasting legacy. I am not afraid to fail, I am not afraid of negative judgement and I am no longer afraid to expose myself to public scrutiny. I accept the challenge that I have imposed upon myself; to rise and to develop something which has meaning.
“To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.”