Friday, September 08, 2006

Authenticity, Careers and Art

Like a track out of Prodigy's best album ('Fat of the Land' I think), this post is probably a wierd mish of skippy beats.

Much as I have learnt from my course in PIM, perhaps the one big lesson that came out of it was that one should aim to be authentic. Being authentic with yourself is the first step in being a better person - when you don't lie to yourself, you will see more of your own flaws and come to view your self-esteem in the right light. In a way, if your ego is the inflated sort (like most MBAs are wont to be) then you most likely need a dose of self-criticism, and see where you really stand as a human being.

Being authentic with other people is a lot harder though. The oft-used cliche of 'putting on a mask' reminds me of how people that I sometimes interact with on a daily basis aren't always being true. Typical casual friends tend to assume a veneer of falsehood as some kind of screen, maybe in some attempt to hide the true self underneath. I guess most people do want their true selves to be 'revealed' in some form or other - they just aren't comfortable enough to want to do that in an obvious way. I believe everyone likes to be heard, and when you can bear to listen to some of the false pompous shit for a while, the true self emerges.

Speaking of revealing, a lot of what I am doing these days is trying to get folks to reveal more - not about themselves, but about their companies. INSEAD's P4s are in the thick of the recruiting season, with 2-3 companies coming every day for this week and next, all in the name of snatching the best MBAs for their firm. The P4s that are job hunting go out of their way to socialise, mingle and network. The P4s that aren't job hunting go out of their way to have fun (and make us job seekers jealous). Cruel, cruel world we live in out here - job search one moment, group meetings the next.

But... somehow, I found time to go to Paris on Sunday. Short trip to see the Musee d'Orsay for free. What struck me about the museum was how they seemed to have a different policy with regards cameras. In contrast with the Louvre (where photography was strictly forbidden), the d'Orsay allowed one to take pictures of the paintings, as long as no flash was used. This meant that one had to grapple with trigger happy tourists taking pictures of other happy tourists standing in front of modern art. How grothesque: go buy the bloody postcards ye cheapskate tourist!

Does it really add to your 'here I am' collection to have a picture of you standing in front of a Renoir or Monet? Like the folks at home are even going to notice. I was really peeved with a particular Brit tourist who shooed me out of his shot while I was looking at a Monet. Like I had no right to be between his phone camera and the painting. Come on... this is an art gallery, not the Eiffel Tower.

Oh, I was guilty of taking a couple of pictures though:

Ground Floor of the Musee d'Orsay
The ground floor of the museum was all sculpture. Rooms to the left and right housed older paintings, some just prior to the impressionist movement.

Clock face in Musee d'Orsay
A clock on the fifth floor of the building offered some interesting picture opportunities. Didn't hang around long though - people just don't like their pictures taken by a stranger that much.

Looking out, Clock face in Musee d'Orsay

Clock face in Musee d'Orsay


Bahloo said...

If you are yourself and you don't like what you see, should you change or learn to accept it?

Just a thought.