Id Unlidded

Id Unlidded – 2021, collage, 71cm/28in diameter, © Dixon Adair 2021

Id Unlidded

This psych-collage aims to marry Freud’s concept of the Id, Ego, and Superego with the Medieval concept of the Seven Deadly Sins.

The very center of the collage captures the Id of a man calmly steepling his hands: beneath his hat, whose brim shows Ptolemy’s Ego-geocentric perspective of a stationary earth at the heart of the planetary solar system, his mind rages with the volcanic activity of Io, Jupiter’s innermost moon, as it is pulled and stretched by competing gravitational forces. Overlaid atop Io, a rat runs with relentless desire on a treadmill to the sound of accelerating locomotive wheels.

Above this central figure, a resplendent peacock represents Pride, first and deadliest of the Sins. Chinese coins within its tail suggest Greed, echoed in the lower left by a toad ingesting gold coins.

Lust follows in the hierarchy of sins and is represented by the goat and a descending trail of women in lingerie.

Elsewhere, the snake of Envy whispers resentment into the ear of Id; a roaring lion, fighting facing boxers and a gaucho whipping out his knife embody Ire or Wrath.

Gluttony appears as the ham and pig in the shark’s jaws to the left of the composition; dozers along the bottom convey Sloth.

The Ego is off to the right side (at 3 o’clock); seven gavels, one for every Deadly Sin, hammer on the conscience.

Such are the temptations that beckon to the rat in the form of a red apple, while the thoughtful Superego (thanks to Rodin) blends into the Id’s hat band and a hand (at 10 o’clock) holds a lid. It is too small to suppress and contain the explosion of human desires. Maybe the children playing beneath the hands of Id-Man can generate a strong enough paternal instinct to put their interests first.

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