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Cognitive Dissonance

Ian Charles Lepine seeks to present beings trapped in a crossroads of contradiction: his interest is to display creatures whose very existence negates their very existence. These are beings at war with themselves, a war where all victories cannot but prove pyrrhic.


His sculptures are frequently accompanied by a poem in either English, French, or Italian, that seeks to give word to the tragedy intrinsic to the form.

Author: Ian Charles Lepine

Year: 2022

Title: Apollo, or Cognitive Dissonance

Technique: Ceramic clay sculpture, painted with oxides and enamel.

Cognitive dissonance is a psychological state of holding two contradictory beliefs at the same time which plunge the sufferer into a state of despair. Apollo is the god of beauty, music, and reason; Nietzsche’s Birth of Tragedy presents him as the opposite of Dionysus, who represents darker passions. Nevertheless, there is the Dionysian in the Apollonian; and the celestial in the hellish. For all his measure and restraint, Apollo is a ravisher, who pursued Daphne.

Cognitive Dissonance


I am a contradiction in the flesh:

My mind is breaking just under my eyes;

My thoughts are real, yes but real lies;

The labyrinth of self shall all enmesh.

I am a raging storm and have forgot

The taste of sunbeams as they cross the sky.

How did this happen? How, and, tell me why?

I have become a thing that I am not.

I feel a split run through my very being,

And see no way out of this contradiction.

I am confused, indeed, but with conviction.

Perhaps in this dark state I’ll find redeeming.

Apollo and Dionysus tear my soul

And yet in pain these Gods I’ll still extoll.

—8 June MMXXII

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