The Insanity of Normality pt. 1 — Master's degree project — Print Version
This publication is based around an interview with the Swiss-German psychoanalyst Arno Gruen, who discusses psychological issues and their impact on society.
Gruen is very critical of the direction in which we move and points out, how contradictory society has become: We focus on success and individual performance while not addressing the underlying real issues.
The interview covers several topics in an understandable way, highlighting unexpected connections between the human psyche and how our society works. Three more texts by authors like Astrid Lindgren and Jesper Juul clarify Gruen's perspective on life.
The texts have been combined with hand made collage works, which serve as visual metaphors for some of the subjects discussed. One text in the book explains the metaphor of gardener and sculptor, describing two opposite approaches to education: The gardener believes that a person is born with an innate predisposition and allows his offspring to develop freely. The sculptor on the other hand believes, that a person at birth is a blank slate. Therefore he thinks that he has the freedom to work his "raw material" to his wishes.
Both of these approaches have been interpreted graphically: Freely and wildly developing collage works that "break the boundaries" of conventional living represent the gardener's side of education. The sculptor's method has been visualised in shape of rectangular, raw text blocks with subtracted areas of white space.
Some pages of the booklet have die-cuts in them, which reveal the image printed on the page below. This is meant to be a visual metaphor for the underlying psychological patterns, which our world seems to follow. Two side stories in the publication are meant to work like branches of a tree, taking the reader on excursions, away from the main text. In order to visualize this idea I rotated the text on these pages. The reader is shown that he leaves the main text and may explore one key aspect of the interview in more depth.
With this work I hope to inspire people to think more critically about their surroundings and the things they blindly accept as normal. I hope to advertise a holistic worldview, which takes into account the "invisible connections" between seemingly unrelated topics. Being German myself I have chosen to print the four texts in German language as well as in English in order to show the two perspectives on society that I have gained during my stay in England.