Once again we’re delighted to publish Benamon Tame’s latest Column article, his seventh so far to his very popular PictureBook section of theappwhisperer.com. In PictureBook Benamon concentrates on the the story behind the image. As Benamon himself describes it: ‘As Photographic artists we do not just capture stories but create them, the journey behind and the image we present. PictureBook draws on Images selected from my own story series but will also look at the work of the other story tellers within the community’.
Don’t miss this latest wonderful article from Benamon, another great piece. Over to you Benamon…. (foreword by Joanne Carter).
Like a dirty moon, the face of Narciss emerged from the darkness, his china hands and face at odds with his matted fur and hump. A dolls face rose up from a long neck and tilted to one side
“Can you not see how they look at you?
They all know but will not say it. There is no smile behind the paint.
I am but a mirror. Look into me, trust me and you will see the truth. I know how heavy it must be, to know it was your fault that they left us and closed the Door.
I do not judge; I am your only true friend, because I know and hold no hate for you
Trust me. Do as I ask and I will do anything for you.”
False Countenance smiles – Narciss
Narciss is a friend to every toy, his voice always one of sympathy and support. But between each words he feeds guilt and loneliness, twisting the whispers he hears and leaving them paranoid and dependent . Narciss holds the hidden secrets of many within the Lost Toy Room as he moves about and plays friend and whispering confidant, stirring up divisions and misunderstandings.
Above all, Narciss plays on the deepest fear of every toy, that they were abandoned because of them and that the others toys will find out.
Narciss is a vain creature and has built a nest for himself in one of the corners made out of fluff, stuffing and his collection of shiny things he has found, stolen, bartered or blackmailed. He sits in his bright home and admires his reflection and the new face that Loki gave him.
Narciss supported Loki , being given protection and free reign to stir and divide which served Loki’s purpose.In return Loki took his camel face and gave him a new one. In accepting the face from Loki, Narciss also bought into and supported the prejudice and hierarchy of toys that Loki advocated. Dolls were at the top and the all the various types in classes below.
The name Narcissus comes from a greek mythology about a vain young man who became entranced and lost to his own reflection . In the Lost Toy Room Narciss plays the part of a mirror and reflects the doubts of others back at them, using their guilt to gain power over them and divide them from each other, it also touches on their own vanity. Their guilt puts them centre stage, that they are the important ones, the ones noticed and remembered and that it was their actions that had such an impact on the Toy Room. Narciss is also a victim of his own vanity, accepting Loki’s reward of a new face has left him in debt to Loki and given him control over him. It has also meant he has set himself in the system Loki has created, and only has the status he does by the face that Loki gave him.
For those that have read the Gormenghast books by Mervyn Peake (and if you haven’t I would heartily recommend them) Narciss could be compared to the machiavellian Steerpike but without the grand vision. Narciss thinks only to plot and divide those around him and only uses his power to acquire more.
The story behind Narciss touches on the underlying guilt and trauma that all the toys carry but also their vanity, echoing the vanity of children, that they are the centre of their universe. The story also hints on social structure and the physiognomy of the toys themselves which I plan to expand on when I bring all the toys together in a book at some point.
Narciss was made using Iris Photo Suite (now known as Laminar Pro), Pictureshow, Blender, Juxtaposer, Snapseed. Lo-Mob, Phonto were used in addition with creating the Typewriter remix. Thank you to Lydia for the loan of ‘Camel’
© Benamon Tame – ‘Narciss’
© Benamon Tame – ‘Narciss The Typewriter Remix’