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Art and Ideology in the Twentieth Century: Identity Construction Essay


A matter of identity is a very sophisticated subject and it is closely connected with social dimension. Paradoxically, the notion of the self cannot be alienated by one principle and, therefore, it cannot be purely centered. The identity construction, hence, is not only connected with the core of individuality, as presented by the Western conceptions.

On the contrary, the center of the self is constantly changing and it is always multiple and diverse. More importantly, our body is primarily outward directed because our interests and preferences could only be satisfied in gratification. Therefore, a person’s self is located within social circumstances dictated by momentous actions and deeds.

With regard to Bakhtin’s theory of identity, I have presented my vision of identity and the self. In particular, the work provides the concept of a human psycho that is composed of “I-for-myself”, “I-for-the-other”, and “other for me” (Emerson 199).

My works present the idea that a person’s identity is constructed through different visions of others. Interpreting this, the identity is rendered via “Not-centered” component and through how other people perceive a person’s self and identity. Analyzing the components of the self-revealed in the Art work, the pictures on the plate personify a “not centered” component, a second dimension of the self.

Through this technique, I sought to show the relations between two worlds – the world of events and culture and the world of life and how those events influenced each person’s life (Bakhtin et al. 2). Indeed, the concept of identity cannot exist without the culture a person lives in; therefore, he/she is unable to reveal his/her individuality unless being attained to those two dimensions.

The work also represents the postmodern culture and how outward aesthetic and ethic tendencies relate to a sense of identity. Another component presents the “faces” attached to the flesh which symbolize different perceptions dependence of a human psyche on the source of identity (Zbinden 59). Faces also encompass the concept of a group identity that is closely related to the way a person evaluates his/her place in society.

The works of art under consideration provide a proof that our needs and interests are conceived through Freudian understanding of human nature. In particular, the flesh of meet reflects that the self exists in libidinal space and everything is cognized through sexual desire (Radley 19).

This is the component that constitutes the basics of your being. It is not vain that I presented the body as a piece of flesh covered with the material objects and events. In other words, the work intends to render a person’s identity through the things and objects constructed by society as well as events in relation to his/her preferences, goals, and needs.

In relation to Bakhtin’s theory, the self presents itself in creating an architectonic connection between life activities which an individual constitutes and natural and cultural environments that surround an individual (Clark and Holquist 68).

Hence, if the outer world is able to characterize a person, then a person is also able to define the world. No mater to what extent a personality is dependent from the laws of nature, an individual has always an opportunity to identify his/herself through other individual (Barker 268). This is a unique ability permitting a person to negotiate and adjust to constant changes and societal claims.

The relation between “the self” and “the other” also include complicated processes and actions. Their unique interaction is constructed around the main values of our life and culture (Felch and Contino 33). In the first work, it is possible to see a woman wearing fashionable clothes in bright colors. Behind her, there is the woman’s silhouette that is represented through grey color without any distinctive features.

While looking at this picture, it is possible to assume that a person’s identity can be unveiled when being evaluated by others. Otherwise, the self can be compared with this grey and unidentified silhouette. The same can be viewed when judging other works at issue where a formless piece of flesh is decorated by objects from the outer world that serve for constructing the identity (Bell and Gardiner 190).

The work also represents Freudian concepts of the body that are closely connected with Bakhtin’s vision of a human psyche (Radley 19; Diaz-Diocaretz 6). Hence, the work presenting a piece of flesh covered with pictures and words shows what a person needs and how his/her need are associated with the cultural and social environment of postmodern world.

Through these conceptions, it is possible to emphasize that a human nature consist of sexual, and deterministic and biological dimensions (Good 99). In this way, the work enables to debunk the myths of objectivity in social and cultural context (Shepherd 183).

In general, the works demonstrate complex relation between the self and cultural and social environment that identifies the unique features of a human psyche. They represent in what way an individual interacts with external life activities that result in obtaining an experience. With the help of this experience, a person has a better opportunity to conceive their needs and interests.

Works Cited

Bakhtin, Mikhail, M., Holquist, Mikhail, and Vadim Liapunov. Toward the Philosophy of an Act. University of Texas Press, 1993. Print.

Barker, S. Signs of change: Premodern, modern, postmodern. US: SUNY Press, 1996. Print.

Bell, Michael and Michael Gardiner. Bakhtin and the human sciences: no last words. US: Sage, 1998. Print.

Clark, Katerina, and Michael Holquist. Mikhail Bakhtin. US: Harvard University Press, 1984. Print.

Diaz-Diocaretz, Myriam. The Bakhtin Circle today UK: Rodopi, 1989. Print.

Emerson, Caryl. The First Hundred Years of Mikhail Bakhtin. US: Princeton University Press, 2000. Print.

Felch, Susan, M. and Paul J. Contino. Bakhtin and Religion. US: Northestern University Press, 2001. Print.

Good, Peter. Language for Those Who Have Nothing: Mikhail Bakhtin and the landscape of psychiatry. US: Springer, 2000. Print.

Shepherd, David G. Bakhtin: Carnival and other subjects: Selected papers from the Fifth International Bakhtin Conference. UK: Rodopi, 1993. Print.

Zbinden, Karine. Bakhtin between East and West: Cross-Cultural Transmission. US: MHRA, 2006. Print.

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IvyPanda. (2019, June 26). Art and Ideology in the Twentieth Century: Identity Construction. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/art-and-ideology-in-the-twentieth-century-identity-construction/

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"Art and Ideology in the Twentieth Century: Identity Construction." IvyPanda, 26 June 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/art-and-ideology-in-the-twentieth-century-identity-construction/.

1. IvyPanda. "Art and Ideology in the Twentieth Century: Identity Construction." June 26, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/art-and-ideology-in-the-twentieth-century-identity-construction/.


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IvyPanda. "Art and Ideology in the Twentieth Century: Identity Construction." June 26, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/art-and-ideology-in-the-twentieth-century-identity-construction/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Art and Ideology in the Twentieth Century: Identity Construction." June 26, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/art-and-ideology-in-the-twentieth-century-identity-construction/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Art and Ideology in the Twentieth Century: Identity Construction'. 26 June.

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