The Absurd 2

This week we explored humanity and the debate of existence and essence. Sartre was quoted to say “man first exists, encounters himself, surges up in the world”. Therefore it is clear that we must develop through engagement with the world and take ownership for the self within that world. But this responsibility naturally creates anxiety and fear, therefore, it could be argued that religion is humanity’s way of dealing with the responsibility of free will.

The combination of facticity and transcendence can lead to a positive mental attitude we work in harmony, but it is a fairly accepted that when these two factors do not fit together a person’s perception of themselves extremely  negative and damaging. Combining this with a need to remain authentic, by the existentialist definition, humanity’s purpose becomes the balance the aspects of oneself into the most positive outcome. However when these are not working in harmony a feeling of nothingness can often destroy the essence of the person.

Through all of this there is a repetition of consequences, and the constant personal debate and conflict of decisions. We can only know ourselves and our own existence, but we must always be aware of those surrounding us. This is also involved in the “look of the other” whereby the fear of judgement plays a part in decision-making.

In relation to my own work, I find it difficult to create authentic pieces due to the fear of judgement. I believe that the pressures of university grading systems can potentially halter creativity, however this does not university and so to better develop maybe I should work towards piece that I believe to be personal in order to begin to reduce the feeling of anxiety when creating this type of work. I can definitely see how these philosophical theories are important to better ourselves within humanity, the same way others turn to religion.


Published by

Jessy Plant

A Brighton born artist, now studying a Fine Art Degree at Cardiff Met Uni.

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