Watch: 'Organic Manic' By Blame Adam
18 May 2020
Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung coined a term for the part of ourselves and the aspects of our personality that we choose to reject or repress: “the shadow self”. Posing it as a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, he defined the shadow as the unknown, unconscious aspects of our psyche, the repressed qualities of our personality that we consider dangerous or undesirable, for example, mental biases, immoral urges, aggressive impulses, and so on.
Adam Malvi, who goes by the moniker Blame Adam, translates this theory into visuals on his new music video for 'Organic Manic', a single from his album 'Asura' released in October last year. Shot entirely in monochrome, written, edited and directed by Mikhail Anand, the intriguing video portrays a protagonist with a near-manic compulsion for perfection, as she deals with the skeletons in her closet.
“At its core the music conveys a powerful sense of duality which we wanted to mirror with the visuals, and that defined the approach to its conceptualisation,” explains Malvi. “It draws from philosophical ideas like Carl Jung's 'Shadow Self', building a world around this notion in an attempt to interpret its true nature.”
Malvi's music similarly enhances the eeriness of the video with its contradictory elements – the soothing, euphoric melodies on one hand, juxtaposed with hard-hitting, distorted noir-inspired rhythms on the other, come together to craft an experience that is both dark and gripping. And though Malvi considers the closing scenes of the video to be touched with a hint of optimism, I instead saw it as a touch of horror – because while our protagonist successfully deals with and buries away her shadow self, finally attaining perfection, I saw it as a horror tale about this era of anxiety, toxic positivity and social media projection we seem to have ushered in, where one is encouraged to dismiss one’s individuality to focus on the positive, to constantly aspire to perfection and attain picture-perfect, happy lives, leaving no space for our flaws, imperfections or even sadness, and instead consuming us with pervading, persistent pressure and self-beratement.
Perhaps, in an alternate world, the protagonist would have taken the time to get to know her shadow first and taken it to therapy to work out their issues. Or perhaps, the entire video is touched with horror, and it is in fact the jealous, pervasive shadow self that has taken over, consumed wholly by the idea of perfection, to a point where it destroys the persona of the protagonist in the process.
Regardless, the video does raise some pertinent questions and offer plenty food for thought. Watch ‘Organic Manic’ below: