Burn your gods (about photography gods)

“Bring your gods to the gallows”

A god, a deity, an idol represents an archetype, a role model. It presents ideas of attainable perfection, usually expressed through words full of wisdom, transmitted to his followers. They reach the individual opened towards them and influence him to do acts of a certain nature. These ideas can be copied directly or interpreted and filtered through one’s own soul.

In the first case, the foul-smelling regurgitated reproductions leak from the heart of the epigone. The major risk is to erase any trace of individuality as the epigone becomes just a copy of an imitation, a shell, in which someone else’s thoughts struggle and echo. The fertile power of the shell is inexistent – the shell is becoming emptier with each expelled idea. A stage destined to perish in agony. Without ecstasy.

In the second case, living rivers burst out of the heart of the disciple and pour out, refreshing the earth on which the master treads, and with each step taken, becoming closer to the end of his journey on this earthly plane. He turns into dust and then into clay; from this matter, sometimes a new master is born, from whose arms flow new springs of beauty.

“The god that failed”

The saddest moment is when the god realizes that he is alone, and his kingdom becomes a beautifully colored and ornamented but inactive background; barren, deserted, visited only by cheap promiscuous men and women. They all want to pose in the background with the king. As long as they are here, the emptiness disappears; they are engulfed in the master’s aura and touched by his lustful adulation. They become royalty for 14 minutes and, as they walk towards the exit, their light goes out and clothes fall off, as their frivolous apparition held no meaning.

The emperor sits again on the throne and begins to count the cracks in the floor. Every time he gets confused, and starts all over again. He looks around, but as he sees the desolation that surrounds him, he feels briefly ashamed. He calls out the happy faceless crowd to entertain his existence, once more, for a short period of time; then quickly chases them away.

“Born again”

The apprentice hopes that things will come back to a state of enlightenment that never existed in the first place. It was all a projection of his needs and hopes: a union that will give birth to gems. He encourages everyone to believe in the noble things that he discovered in himself, he opens the way to beauty and light.
And, without realizing it, he has already ascended.

They say “Never meet your heroes”. Or gods. Or idols. Or kings and queens and emperors. Or whatever you want to call them.

I say: meet them, laugh with them and learn from them. Then “burn” them.

This is not disrespect. This is evolution for you as an individual, artist, and human being. Don’t live in the shadow of someone else. You are you; you are not them. Don’t be a copy or an epigone. A god that requires constant worship and offerings doesn’t want what is good for you. Have the guts to challenge yourself and everyone else in a constructive way, which is ultimately constructive towards you. 

(post initially published on CFD blog on 30.03.2012; translated and revised in 2024)