Displacement

Suellen Symons
This event has concluded
Dates:
Entry Fee: Free
Exhibition Event:
Official Opening 14/05/2017 3:00 pm
Artist Talk 14/05/2017 5:00 am

Displacing your normal life with a new identity by sewing imaginatively and creating new attire, courageous knights, glamorous princesses, even queens, and kings emerge from the chrysalis. Extraordinary civilians with a dynamic alter ego for the time they are out and about in a parallel universe.

These images are created to acknowledge the power and grace, and respect to detail, using authenticity to the historical period juxtaposed with a modern sensibility shining through.

The energy coming from the portraits, the acknowledgement by each person that to be photographed in his/her alter ego is the proper compliment for his/her skill and believable avatar status, was showing a respect towards me the photographer who in this case only had to pose the subject and then allow the discordant background, sometimes with sign posts from modern life or an out-of-time detail poking through. I like this blending of the everyday visual “junk” with the Medieval Alter Ego.

“We are the original displaced personalities. We are a breed apart, us theatre people.”
Displacement refers to the ability to place oneself in another time and place. In Freudian psychology, displacement (German: Verschiebung, “shift, move”) is an unconscious defence mechanism whereby the mind substitutes either a new aim or a new object for goals felt in their original form to be dangerous or unacceptable.[1]
A term originating with Sigmund Freud,[2] displacement operates in the mind unconsciously, its transference of emotions, ideas, or wishes being most often used to allay anxiety in the face of aggressive or sexual impulses.
Among Freud’s mainstream followers, Otto Fenichel highlighted the displacement of affect, either through postponement or by redirection, or both.[7] More broadly, he considered that “in part the paths of displacement depend on the nature of the drives that are warded off”.[8]
In 1957, Jacques Lacan, inspired by an article by linguist Roman Jakobson on metaphor and metonymy, argued that the unconscious has the structure of a language, linking displacement to the poetic function of metonymy,[10] and condensation to that of metaphor.
As he himself put it, “in the case of Verschiebung, ‘displacement’, the German term is closer to the idea of that veering off of signification that we see in metonymy, and which from its first appearance in Freud is represented as the most appropriate means used by the unconscious to foil censorship”.[11]
Using her photographs to interpret and portray Australia’s multicultural obsession with Cosplay and Medieval alter egos, Symons continues to create ambiguous imagery using a range of approaches to her subjects.
Displacement occurs when the Id wants to do something of which the Super ego does not permit. The Ego thus finds some other way of releasing the psychic energy of the Id. Thus there is a transfer of energy from a repressed object-cathexis to a more acceptable object.
Displaced actions tend to be to into related areas or subjects. If I want to shout at a person but feel that I cannot, then shouting at somebody else is preferred to going to play the piano, although this may still be used if there is no other way I can release my anger.
Displacements are often quite satisfactory and workable mechanisms for releasing energy more safely.
Dreams can be interpreted as the displacement of stored tensions into other forms (dreams are often highly metaphoric).
Displacement is one of our original defence mechanisms.

With a displacement felt by many people who from being everyday suburban nobodies who join online forums and create their own attire to become actors on a stage: victorious, courageous knights, or princesses, even queens and kings. Extraordinary civilians with a dynamic alter ego for the time they are out and about in a parallel universe.

These images are created to acknowledge the power and grace, and respect to detail and authenticity to the historical period but with each urban dweller shining through.

The energy coming from the portraits, the acknowledgement by each person that to be photographed in his/her alter ego is the proper compliment for his/her skill and believable avatar status, was showing a respect towards me the photographer who in this case only had to pose the subject and then allow the discordant background, sometimes with sign posts from modern life or an out-of-time detail poking through. I like this blending of the everyday visual “junk” with the Displaced (character).

I aimed to capture a moment of intensity, revealing vulnerability and sense of belonging. I tried to heighten the formality of the portrait-making situation, which may emphasize awkwardness but mostly shows each person proud of what she/he has accomplished. Each person is committed to the spirit of being a Displaced person (warrior, knight, princess, queen) and enjoys the transformation into another time and place. Their Displacement into another time and place creates mainly harmony although there is a time warp and odd flotsam around.
I have included Lazarus Knight from an order of knights that had leprosy. I bumped into him on the shuttle bus out of one of the locations. I thought he had an intensity of belief and commitment so powerful it doesn’t matter that we are on a modern bus. It adds to the warmth in communication between us that we are in a strange environment, an everyday modern environment as we slip back into the real world. Each person photographed I stopped and communicated with so we were collaborators.

The chosen photographs are part of a series I have been working on about Displaced worlds/parallel universes. I’ve aspired to and created art about “the reinterpretation of the Medieval” since the 1980s when I dressed my characters (often twins) up in period costume and put them in front of my painted backdrops (Privileged Mortals series 1986).

Displacement of humanity happens in times of upheaval and this one is a metaphysical Displacement: choosing to have another identity with a group of fellow believers.

Usually these displaced people have fashioned their own destiny as a safe haven for their imagination and to connect with others also displaced in a similar way.

Displacement conjures up many other aspects of living including where to place oneself next.

References
1. Schacter, Daniel L. (2011). Psychology Second Edition. 41 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10010: Worth Publishers. pp. 482–483. ISBN 978-1-4292-3719-2.
2. “Freud Theories and Concepts (Topics) AROPA. 2013. Retrieved on 05 October 2013
3. ^ Jump up to:a b c d Utah Psych. “Defense Mechanisms” 2010. Retrieved on 05 October 2013.
4. Defence Mechanisms at the US National Library of Medicine Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)
5. “archive of: www.3-S.us What is a self-schema?”. Info.med.yale.edu. Archived from the original on February 4, 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-05.
6. Chalquist, Craig. “A Glossary of Freudian Terms” 2001. Retrieved on 05 October 2013.
7. Contributor: GeorgeT. “Top 7 Psychological Defense Mechanisms”. Listverse. Retrieved 2013-05-05.
8. “defence mechanisms — Britannica Online Encyclopedia”. www.britannica.com. Retrieved 2008-03-11.
9. Ruuttu T, Pelkonen M, Holi M, et al. (February 2006). “Psychometric properties of the defense style questionnaire (DSQ-40) in adolescents”. J. Nerv. Ment. Dis. 194 (2): 98–105. doi:10.1097/01.nmd.0000198141.88926.2e. PMID 16477187.
10. Hovanesian S, Isakov I, Cervellione KL (2009). “Defense mechanisms and suicide risk in major depression”. Arch Suicide Res. 13 (1): 74–86. doi:10.1080/13811110802572171. PMID 19123111.
11. Freud, A. (1937). The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defence, London: Hogarth Press and Institute of Psycho-Analysis. (Revised edition: 1966 (US), 1968 (UK))

This event has concluded
Dates:
Entry Fee: Free
Exhibition Event:
Official Opening 14/05/2017 3:00 pm
Artist Talk 14/05/2017 5:00 am
whatson-img01
© Moshe Rosenzveig OAM

Hosting an event or exhibition in 2024?

List your exhibition or photography event on our site to reach out to the Australian photographic community. Australia's only listing of photographic exhibitions and events.

bg-ctap-mobile bg-ctap-desktop

Festival submissions open now

Submit your work to be considered for solo or group exhibitions in Head On Photo Festival 2024

Image detail: Matthew Newton