René Magritte. La Condition humaine. 1933. Oil on canvas.

“In front of a window seen from inside a room, I placed a painting representing exactly that portion of the landscape covered by the painting. Thus, the tree in the picture hid the tree behind it, outside the room. For the spectator, it was both inside the room within the painting and outside in the real landscape.

This is how we see the world. We see it outside ourselves, and at the same time we only have a representation of it in ourselves. In the same way, we sometimes situate in the past that which is happening in the present. Time and space thus loose the vulgar meaning that only daily experience takes into account”

  1. pseudopseudointellectual said:

    I like, I like! Magritte is very cool.

  2. Tiny Seal said:

    Vulgar meaning it seems. Very true.

  3. Justuju said:

    Quite interesting!

  4. rendezvous said:

    Is this a reference to an individual’s perspective on things or is it pointing to a state of mind of the viewer that reflects and encompasses the inner and the outer world – or is it both?

  5. Unawoken said:

    It is refering to how anyone ever experiences the world at all. What we experience is the image of the object, or experience reflected in the mind’s model, whether the object/experience is immediate, or if it happened in the past (future is obviously only a prediction model anyway.)

  6. rendezvous said:

    How does the inherent/intrinsic quality/property of the object that deals with it’s very ‘being’ tie into this experience? what is it’s effect on the experience?

  7. Unawoken said:

    The being of the object is only perceived through the sensor + mind model.
    In this Magritte brings out at least 4 levels that I can think of. The first is the object that is hidden in the painting in the painting. The second is the painting in the painting. The third is the model of the painting that we perceive in our mind. The fourth, is the “real world” in the painting is actually a partly hideen painting by itself, so presumably there was the real world that Magritte was actually looking at.

    Now, there are more levels involved as well, which were not intended by Magritte. The instant we encountered this image, we formed a symbol, or collection of symbols that represent this image in our minds, so even if we aren’t looking at it, we “recall” it.
    Finally, I can think of the electronic representation of the painting as another level.
    Perception goes through these levels. The “being” was at the level of the object. Our perceptions not only reflected that, but also filtered those aspects of it that we can sense.. such has colour (for example, presumably the object “has” properties that are detectable through infra-red sensors only, which we never experience).

  8. rendezvous said:

    Thank you !!! Makes sense…

  9. “The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.” — Henri Bergson

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