Human is the pinnacle of all species on this planet. We live a life that is unlike any other animal we share this Earth with. The main concern of all living creatures is to preserve their life; eat and populate. Most humans on the planet have solved the first with sustainable agriculture drastically shifting our daily routines from hunting and gathering to consumption. Here The Spectacle of Society was born where human life revolves around buying things we don't need, with money we don't have, to impress people we don't like. Life is not about having, life is about the appearance of having. I don't care about you, but I care about what I think you think of me.
I can't say why I am drawn to the things I am and photograph the things I do, but I can try and make sense of them. My interest in consumerism and the inauthenticity of the world we live in must subconsciously draw my attention to inanimate objects. The Mannequin or Womannequin is an embodiment of human consumption and possesses human-like traits that can be perceived more human-like than humans. The industrial/agricultural revolutions have simplified human life and has created a market for us to buy into. We spend every waking day working for money, if time is money then the exchanges we make are literally handouts of fractions of our lives. Every time we make a transaction we can calculate the exact amount of our life we are giving up. Blindly we trade a day of our life for a pair of shoes, a week for a wooden desk, a month for a couch, and our lives for a home.
Inanimate objects that resemble humans have inherently a piece of us in them, for we are the ones who made them. As we continue to spend more of our lives dedicated to the things we buy we become more inanimate while these things begin to resemble us. They resemble us so that we are led to envision ourselves like them. The Mannequinn begins to look like us or we begin to look like them? As body transformations and surgical manipulations increase we increase our relation to plastic and decrease our relation to human. We are manipulated in such a way to believe that it is our own choice, our own free will to choose what we want. Blurring the lines of what is real, what we truly need. What if this is not a true democracy of our life, we do not have true agency but only the choice of the choices presented. What if there are other viable options, ones that do not involve mass consumption into a Spectacle world that does not exist.
We live in this Spectacle, this artificial show where we are conditioned to believe what human life is. We learn what is normal, what is crazy, what we should say, what we should do, what steps we should take, what path is safe, what matters, what the game of life is. There is a veil in front of us and we get fixated in our own little worlds. We feel trapped and consumed with stress and anger like a rat in a cage. But if you step back and look at the big picture for a moment, you start to realize how juvenile everything is. Sport can be reduced to; grown men wearing the image of a conceptualized identity with the name of another man on their back all the while spectating other grown men skate in circles with sticks in their hands with the soul intention of hitting a piece of vulcanized rubber in a net. Many people (including myself) get caught up in sports, but in essence they are simple, arbitrary rituals that humans participate in. Appreciate that this social reality was created by us and is as real as you make it to be.
It is important to understand the representations of things is just that, just a representation. Think about what a couch looks like from 10, 20, 30 years ago. Think about what brands of clothes you used to wear or what was "in style". In our minds we are led to believe trends and styles change so frequently that when we are faced with an out dated look it disgusts us. We get anxiety and question we were thinking, but thats just it, we were not thinking, we were just following. Try to step back from this and objectively look at the face value of these objects, they serve a simple purpose and that is it. They have a use value and a social value; a couch is used to sit on but also in the commodified world inherently says something about me as a person. This also rings true with every single commodity on the planet, which is anything that has a value (anything you can buy).
The talking heads show us day after day the lives we are supposed to live. They tell us "to be apart of" and we follow often not questioning what the consequences are. The consequence is that we lose ourselves, following the path of least resistance has led us in a circle to perpetuate the economic machine. How did this all start? How did we get to this? Home renovation shows, shopping channels, talk shows, game shows, reality shows all present an illusive framework. Step back and look at all of it, it means nothing, it is not real. In a world where we call something reality television and it is unanimously understood as the least real representation of life truly demonstrates the falsehood of our existence. We have been blue pilled. We are so bored and distracted by this Spectacle that all we ever are doing is searching for our next thing to buy. The entire complexity of human existence has been boiled down to the question, "what kind of dining set defines me as a person?"
At its core we need: water, food, sleep, shelter, social support, and a supportive physical environment for survival. Almost everything else we want, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. But it is important to remember that the things we own end up owning us.
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