Friday, November 02, 2007

On Seeing and Culture

There is a scene in the movie Brazil in which a group of characters are ordering their food in fancy restaurant... Duck l'orange, steak etc. When the food arrives all the dishes look about the same, 3 small small mounds of mush on a tray with a picture of what the food "is".

This is a clip of the scene:

I think of this scene quite a bit as a metaphor for visual culture. Visually, our depictions of reality are so idealized and enhanced that they are no longer depictions but a shared visual hyper-reality. The Dove video that was so popular a while back throws back the curtain a bit for us to have a peak at the "gap".

The images we share culturally and put in front of each others faces don't really depict the physical world but are the shared imaginary world we inhabit called culture.

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