2014-09-09

The Masks of Reality

We assume that reality is structured at least on two planes --signifiers and signifieds--, bound together by a much more complex symbolism than the univocal relationship between them. To put it simply, the true sense of reality is masked behind their signifiers. Any attempt to understand this reality implies trying to unravel how this symbolism works. With this in mind, it can be understood how certain artistic styles, such as hyperrealism, contribute to make this mask of reality more opaque, rather than to unveil it. Against most of the artistic movements of the twentieth century, which could be interpreted as different attempts to this unraveling of the signification's structure, we consider hyperrealism one of the most reactionary. Some kind of regression of culture, that would explain its popularity among the masses and its support by the most worn-out establishment. For the ideology works precisely in such a way (Slavoj Zizek, In Defense of Lost Causes, 2008): masking the connection between signifiers and signifieds, taking advantage of the dominant connotation of symbols, of their volatility. This phenomenon is particularly evident in the context of the totalitarian shift we are suffering today under the neoliberal regime, that benefits precisely from this regression, particularly to traditional symbols, in order to hide the violent and perverse mechanisms implemented by the different power apparatuses.

Image after Antonio López's Mis padres (1956), Cuarto de baño (1969), Taza de váter y ventana (1968-1971) and Hombre y mujer (1968-1994) [fu/fd].