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George Mayer - 2017 Sony Professional Grant

Libido and mortido are the two powers that accompany us through life since our birth. Libido is an aspiration for creativity and art or the desire to live. But everything that moves is restricted and cannot be endless. Mortido is the power restricting libido, it is an aspiration for death or aspiration for endless life out of the bounds of the body. Throughout life one suffers these powers fighting. The inward mortido destroys the libido, so it is destructive and self-destructive.

Sabina Spielrein speaks of aspiration for death as the primitive instinct of human being. Nevertheless, we cannot regard libido and mortido as fighting antitheses. They are more like dialectical opposites interpenetrating each other. The individual senses the interaction of these two powers and being influenced by their interaction tries to find some balance inside to preserve oneself. And while the inward mortido causes destructive changes of the personality, that is the process of destroying the personality, the libido directed to the self-leads to the cognition of one’s true self.




On the photographs, the figure of a woman is used as a symbol, as a reflection of the human consciousness being at the boundary of the two concepts of creation and destruction. It is a woman’s figure that is depicted because it is associated with the concept of the Anima introduced by the psychologist Jung. It implies the feminine archetype that is the influence of emotions, moods, and inwardness. The masculine archetype, the Animus, is characterized by outwardness and tough overriding decisions.

In the techniques, we make use of the experience of such great experimentalists as František Drtikol, Erwin Blumenfeld and Victor Skrebneski. Through the use of contrasting light and shadows, we show the two antitheses coexisting in the human consciousness. And the fighting of these two antitheses is shown through the use of optical deflections.


"I am grateful to Sony for their support of my project. The grant enabled me not only to speed up the shooting but also to present the project at the top level at Somerset House in London. A lot of journalists and gallery owners from all over the around were interested in the project," says Mayer


George Mayer - Based in Nizhny Tagil, Russia, George Mayer is a professional photographer, designer, and artist. His work has been recognized in international competitions, such as the Contest Photography Masters Cup (USA) and the EISA Maestro Photo Contest 2011 and it has been published in major Russian and international magazines.