Ivan Mihaljević, Sigismund and Moth, 2013
Sigismund, Moth in verse, Tol, Moth, Flea; mixed media
Born in Kassel, Mr. Mihaljević studied at medical schools in Germany and Australia. Since then he has worked as a physician specializing in neurodegenerative disorders, focusing particularly on Parkinson’s disease and other disabling disorders. He has also worked psychiatrically, with a past focus on schizophrenic and affective disorders. Mr. Mihaljević is highly interested in philosophy, writing and art, and creates lyric work concerned with such themes as philosophy, mood, neuroscientific progress, Asian cultures and antiquity and Anglo-Saxon culture and heritage. His artworks offer insights into such complex issues as body, phone and spirit in context of timeliness from a European but also cosmopolitan point of view.
Mihaljević on Sigismund and Moth:
Sigmund Freud placed the importance of the drives, above all, death and libido, fully at the forefront of primary and secondary socialization. A thorough investigation reveals, contrary to expectations, that his theories of the formation and control of the drives were already present in Antiquity and can primarily be applied as a motif to the exercise of government by Hellenistic rulers.
Even though in Europe after the Second World War, Freud's theories and definitions were increasingly relegated to the background in the academic and clinical fields, they have survived, even if in an altered form, in different cultural regions, particularly in the English-speaking world. What is the reason for this state of affairs? Do Freud's partially handed-down theories, despite less frequent use, nevertheless continue to characterize Western Civilization? Has a century of use - with fluctuating manifestations - embedded these ideas so deeply that our present conception of self and the associated formation of relationships on the individual and societal levels will continue to obtain in the future? Is it a continued, modified application of the ancient basic theory, which Freud has masterfully made use of?
This five-part composition – three poems, one photograph and one installation – contains the German-language poem "Sigismund," the titular character of which illustrates the aforementioned state of affairs, providing an interconnection among Antiquity, himself and the origins of the theory. Through this and the two accompanying poems written in English, "Moth" and "ToI," an interplay between the vowels and phones is permitted, which provides a platform for an individual interpretation of the spoken and the heard content. While the handwritten and printed, spatially arranged lines contain static and basic information, a varied pronunciation of rhymes or even parts of words can result in an intrinsic change of the fundamental meaning. Additionally, individual reading styles can allow for differing interpretations from the reader and listener. The intercorrelation of ancient Greek, German, English and Croatian produces a unique elucidation of the possible fluctuating perceptions and viewpoints along with more or less distinct, possible manifestations on an individual as well as on a regionally-defined, societal level.
Translation by Matthew Bauman