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Russian photographer Sasha Chaika talks about his series Expression of Singularity and his views on the Freudian concept of “afterwardsness.”

As seen in Austere Ego.

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What does this series represent to you?

The fashion industry today embodies the cult of individuality: designers tell their own stories through clothing, models are applauded for “strange”, unique faces, and people from the street are on the runway. There’s a constant search for something special and personal. In a biological way, individuality is mostly about the initial physical data; it’s something fixed and static. But if we talk about humans in the context of culture and society, this identity code consists mainly of memory.

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The individuality of each person is determined not in the present, but in the future directed to the past. Freud called such actualization “afterwardsness” (Nachträglichkeit). The term is about recycling the connection between memories and actual text of life (external influence in the present). This compound creates personal world view. People want systematization for a sense of comfort and peace; that’s why we search in own experience for causal connections, regularity and rhythm.

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