Heilkunst in Art : Cindy Sherman’s Photography

I was listening to this week’s podcast of This American Life, which opened with a story about a current photography exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York by Cindy Sherman. The concept is that the photographer has photographed herself in 100s of different poses, where she looks radically different from one set to the next, and if the viewer didn’t know any better, would think that they were seeing many different models being photographed, and not one single person.

The meaning of such an art exhibit raises a number of questions about the nature of “identity”, and I’d like to offer a few possible Heilkunst interpretations of such an artistic message:

  • The schizophrenic split – fundamentally, we all start out with at least one primary split in our consciousness (see my previous series on the Ideogenic remedies), and through a variety of factors, will display any number of personas in order to cope with the anxiety of the demands of the world on us, and it takes a fair bit of work through treatment to get down through all these layers and make contact with our true self.
  • Our multi-faceted self – On the other hand, there is something to be said for our capacity to connect to the world through many different aspects of mind and consciousness, and that a full expression of health includes activating as many different parts of ourselves as possible. The unfolding of our resonance occurs through many pathways, each of which contributes to us getting to know another facet of our selves.
  • Finding expression and discharge of layers of trauma – As the Heilkunst process burrows its way down through the layers of a patient’s historical traumas and conflicts, many different forms of emotional expression and other forms of realization come up under many guises.

What does this artwork say to you, in terms of your understanding of Heilkunst?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *