The Importance of Self-Knowledge

By Pietro Daprano

One of the ways to understand the orders of reality linked to people's behavior and the organization of their social life is through their reflective capacity expressed in words and actions.

However, it is possible that the interpretation of the behavior of others and the way their environment translates may be limited by the influence of stereotypes, an exaggerated and simplified perception attributed to a person.

We know that customs determine this basic and unfair way of treating people, in origin, family and social learning, experiences or perceptions about belonging, race, religion, age, ancestry, among other characteristic aspects of each person.

It is an attitude that does not allow us to evolve and has a particular immutable character that continues to occupy a wide area of social beliefs. Perhaps it is a sick conception developed by the human being that influences the construction of social identity and, by default, negatively affects the relationships between social groups.

From this perspective, Mia Thompson's photographic work seeks to compose psychological and sociological narratives about herself and her environment as a way to know herself and understand the people around her. It is a kind of process where knowing oneself is the beginning of all wisdom proposed by Aristotle: "Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom."

To make sense of this vision, Thompson builds a valuable photographic record of self-portraits and images of her family and friends.

Her portraits can be linked to the overflowing images inundating virtual social networks, which seem to reflect personal ego. A factor supposedly related to balanced pride ends up exceeding in many cases in excessive tendencies that lead people to suffer from narcissistic personality disorder and dependence on social skills.

Despite this possible entity, we can identify in Thompson some unlikely images such as Emily, Set 42, Emily's Statement, Emilia, Set 42, and Emilia's Statement that may allude to self-knowledge, to the possibility of reaching a state of deep analysis and self-acceptance.

Likewise, she has portraits that could be related to the struggles of her own inner world and the understanding of social oppositions.

Her work is an effort to show us that things can be complementary, opposite, or antagonistic to each other. She situates her characters to be read by her camera in order to fix them in a continuous present.

Contingency or circumstance, she is a photographer creating a conceptual document with annotations on existences: extremities of the body, the nudity of a woman with her back to a window, and other scenes where the skin is blown and dissolves in questions.

Thompson's work proposes to investigate in depth the passage through adolescence, old age, memory, the ghost of death, and psychological dramas. Within this framework of expression, her images perhaps understand the identity of our nightmares.