A recent Time magazine (30 Sep 2013) has an article about the great Belgian Surrealist Rene Magritte. The article by Richard Lacayo in written as an introduction to a new show at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York titled: “Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926-1938.” After MoMA, the show moves on to Houston and Chicago.
According to Lacayo:
So maybe it’s time to think of Magritte as one of the first conceptual artists. His paintings were meant to give form to intellectual conundrums. Each of them has its source first in an idea.
Is it too much to think of Magritte’s art as a kind of cautionary note for the Internet age? With its warnings about the treachery of images and the ways language itself is a disinformation campaign, it’s a collective metaphor about the limits of knowledge and the pitfalls of communication. It’s aimed at us, bent over our cell phones and keyboards, eagerly retrieving “information,” all the while punked, all of us, almost all the time.
The painting The Human Condition” (1933), shows an easel sitting in front of a window in such a way as to perfectly align with the view that it’s blocking. The message from Condition seems to be that not only is the painting a simulation but so is the “real” view that it is blocking. Where is reality in all this?
Could this be an early harbinger of transhumanist angst over “are we living in a computer simulation?”