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Review of Monika K. Adler’s work: a psychological perspective (fragment)



In so many of Monika K Adler’s still photographs the unconscious psyche is attempting to communicate identity (personal and collective) along with most noticeably issues related to the boundary between life and death and the mysteries held within both. Mastery, in her work, is also engaged upon both by the act of repetition.

This continuity of repetitions drive a return to and honouring of the animalistic primal primitive and tribalistic state. Here then there is the, possibly sadistic and revengeful, implied killing and tasty eating of the ‘brain’ of patriarchy. Also inherent is a sort of magical symbolism of cannibalism with respect to a male lover – perhaps, also through this art medium, seemingly in order to reach past the anchors of imposed experience (and roles) by domineering masculine performance. To gain not only individualistic rights and ‘enlightenment’ perhaps, but also as a pathway to a total liberation from whatever shackles political, religious, educational, pathological, social, sex/gender and family orientated defined roles towards freer choices and a new life. Seen also, within both a psychological and sociological anthological perspective.

Embracing the phenomenology of ‘the now’ is so well highlighted in her still photography it almost suggests that a reappraisal, or even a variable degree of possible negation within a potential lack of emphatic relevance of the undeniably human natural phenomenon of memory as a necessary and sufficient condition towards not only development and growth, but also a transformation (in Jungian terms), a dynamic continuous renewal or “rebirth”, of damaged psyche.

Hermeneutic explanation aside, looking at the unmistakable tension and anxiety – in or between – her photographic ‘part objects’-as-people or people as- ‘part objects’, her encoded use of contrast between light and shadow leaves a formidable gaze. Notwithstanding the semiotics or symbolisation that represent the ghosts of significant others or past events inherent in her personal identity, childhood development, dissonant confusions and sexualised passions that present themselves now.