When I went to Leeds art gallery I saw this piece of art and it was one that really stuck with me. Maybe it’s because I feel I can relate slightly to some of what was written on the right picture:
“The real me is there all the time, but it has to be supressed because of the conformity. If everyone has got the same uniform on, everybody feels safe”
The piece of art is about conformity, stereotypes and I think it makes a strong statement towards society; the man on the left is a skinhead, Marxist anarchist and the man on the right (the same man, but a different man in many senses) is a stockbroker, a 9-5 business man. The man does what he ‘must’ do in the day, he has to earn his living, maybe he doesn’t want to be this person, but he does not have a choice, like most of us, because we need money, we need to make a life for ourselves and we must behave the way we are expected to when we do so. When he leaves work he changes his clothes and his behaviour to the man underneath the suit.
Everybody has different personalities, we are all one person split into different people. We might be a parent or a co-worker or someone’s friend and we all act differently around these people, we take on a different persona for every person we talk to, to every situation we may be in.
It’s a powerful piece of text on the picture, especially the bit about everyone wearing the same uniform because then we feel safe. The same reason I imagine a lot of us don’t express ourselves the way we want to; we don’t wear a quirky piece of clothing because we fear we may be judged, so we stick to something plain to ‘fit in’, we don’t voice a certain opinion of ours because we are worried of the uproar it may cause, we worry how people will react to it.
Or maybe some people do all these things -good on you if you do! However, that’s usually when people begin to get labelled and these labels can tend to have negative connotations.
I hope that this has maybe provoked a train of thought for some of you, or left you thinking, who is your doppleganger? Are you a conformist or a rebel, and do you wish that was different? I think many of us have someone who we are and another someone we want to be. I hope we find the courage to some day be the latter.