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A series of artworks which are based on Dr. Carl Jung’s theory about the “persona and its shadow” ( Jung, C. G “Archetypes of the Collective Unco… Read More
A series of artworks which are based on Dr. Carl Jung’s theory about the “persona and its shadow” ( Jung, C. G “Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious” (1935). In CW 9, Part I: The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. Princeton University Press; 1 Read Less
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Binary Opposition: Duality & The Collective Unconscious
Self Duality: The Persona and its Shadow
The persona is a complicated system of relations between individual consciousness and society, fittingly enough a kind of mask, designed on the one hand to make a definite impression upon others, and, on the other, to conceal the true nature of the individual (Jung P.305) [8]. In other words the persona is the face we show to the world; it is best symbolized by clothing. It is useful as we put it between the world and ourselves and use it to make a smooth path for us socially. For instance, one wears an evening gown to a formal affair; and a bathing suit to the swimming pool. The bathing suit would be inappropriate to the formal affair, and vice-versa. So, the persona functions for us when we use it to clothe our selves with the veneer of social responsibility and good manners. If we choose not to allow the persona to assist us in this way, we are deemed uncouth and ill mannered.

On the other hand, a person may so identify with her persona that she, in effect, becomes it. Certainly, the outside world rewards those who seem persona-based and nearly forces us to identify with it. People who single-mindedly play one role in life are usually rewarded for it; nevertheless this single-minded perception often becomes a trap. An example of this are preachers who fall into sexual scandals, or the typecast actor who is repeatedly cast as a comic in spite of having enough depth to pull of a dramatic role. Those who have no hidden self are probably over-identified with their personas.
The Shadow is the Mr. Hyde part of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The shadow is the trickster, the dark side, the side that puts its foot in its mouth, and the part that opposes and compensates the conscious ego side of the personality. He usually appears in our dreams. If male, our shadow is a male figure in dreams; if female, our shadow is female. Shes the figure we dream about and loathe, unable to imagine that shes part of us.

The shadow is both relative and personal.  For one person, the shadow may contain envy and jealousythings not allowed conscious awarenesswhile for another (for instance, a storm trooper) compassion and pity may reside in the shadow.  The shadow holds those parts of our consciousness that we cannot attend to with our ego ideal in our social world.  Most often, especially in the west, the shadow becomes associated with very dark elements.  Mr. Hyde, for example, is literatures greatest metaphor for the shadow; he is Dr. Jekylls worst side.  The lust, greed, and anger that Jekyll would not attend to consciously came out full-blown in Hydes careless existence. The Victorian attitude that makes mans creaturely elements unacceptable makes Hydes out of Jekylls, and demons out of angels.

A series of artworks which are based on Dr. Carl Jungs theory about the persona and its shadow ( Jung, C. G Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious (1935). In CW 9, Part I: The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. Princeton University Press; 1981)