The blurred line between image (as truth) and reality (in question), art and life remains conscious and strong. Life outside yourself is difficult to grasp. It is useless to mourn the misfortune of being born closer to the death of civilization than ever before. The strength of those before you- although having never shared being alive with them- may still reveal what is needed to push towards the next wave in creativity, in thought, in essence; what existed then exists now. There is no direct past or future. Perhaps it is important to experience such separation in order to overcome the hurdle of being complacent, of being afraid, of being alone, to create.
The image remains in the eyes of the beholder. We must put an honest effort into “witnessing” what is within and around us. This is something we are all capable of. It’s no longer “art for arts sake”, but art for our sake.
When Magritte painted the caged egg and the leaf tree, he jokingly called them “elective affinities” referring to Goethe’s writings on the picture-object. Transformation from thought to picture is a conversation that straddles across time and place. The placement and arrangement of pictures together, sequentially or other, creates a dialogue between them. This is the third space.
An image of an object is not the same as the object; it is merely a representation of it. But the image itself can also be an object. Objects often represent truth but do not have to. In our minds the photogographic image is given this trust openhandedly, to document, to deliver honest reporting. This is false. Olson Welles knew too well that an image, especially taken from the camera lens, can report false information, on any and all levels.
Reproductions don’t change the “essence” that an original work is said to possess, because they represent the original without actually being it. But does the original lose its power to some degree by way of being reproduced? Is it determined by the type/manner/amount or intention?
As Walter Benjamin argued, an original work bears a certain inexplicable aura, an energy, a sense of authentic being, that cannot be reproduced. This inherent quality, being uniquely energetic, ensures that its reproductions (no matter of what kind or how many) cannot alter or affect the unique physical presence of the original. The reproductions however, have the power to negatively impact one another; meaning the quality, quantity and accessibility of the reproductions determines their individual and collective value.