In Stepping Away I spoke of there being other resonances to Magritte’s painting in the context of thought I’d been building. That’s all the primer you’ll get from me. If you can’t remember or you didn’t know in the first place, click the link and check it out. In this post I want to get into a resonance that resonates with me of that painting in that context of thought.
Magritte entitles his painting “The Human Condition”. He seems, to me, to mean that the essence of what he is communicating through the painting also is true of the human being (sometimes it’s helpful to be really explicit). But we can’t forget that Magritte was always aware of the fact that his painting would be observed by a subject(ivity). So what he is communicating through the painting does not exist only within the painting, or between the painting and the painter, as with a traditional landscape, portrait, or even more allegorical representations. Magritte’s meaning only truly lives between an observer and the visual impression formed by some copy (including the original painting itself) of a core meaning that was already being re presented when the painter painted it. Like a camera focused upon a mirror, thought spirals inward through re presented content.
How else can you really point to this phenomenon? It’s almost like you have to pull the viewer in, and then, once they’re in there, point to them in there and say, see what we are? Do you have a good way of expressing this thought pattern (Uroborus, reamalgamerging, Godel, Escher, Bach)? Check out:
Godel Escher Bach By Douglas Hofstadter (Tangled Hierarchies, Strange Loops…)
Can you track the inexorable steps of this pattern through the symbols of the mind of man upon the palimpsest surface of our planet?