Dishonesty Without Apologies

man with dark hair wearing a grey sweater standing in front of a white wall

We understand simulacrum as 1. an image or representation, and 2. a vague or unreal semblance taking on traces but separating itself from the original.

My thesis explores: What if we lost the ability to discern what our eyes perceive and what our minds are recalling? If we may use the act of recall as an ally, it now becomes a game of deception. By using a priori experience, I wish to turn past knowns on themselves. The intent to propose a built environment further, and one based on dishonesty, will initiate and trigger a new form of sensorial, tactile and habitable experiences. My thesis follows Jean Baudrillard’s "precession of simulacra" that debunks our dependency on truths and symbols.

For Baudrillard, the technique of trompe l'oeil paintings led him to speculate the increasing difficulties one faces in separating a representation of reality from reality itself (Kellner). Trompe l'oeil fought for an illusion which intended to simulate or depict a reality beyond the existing. In essence, these portraits extend conditions of the present reality to generate not an alternate but a continuation of its likeness. Baudrillard's treatise found this disillusion implemented in the arts to possess a direct disturbance onto reality itself. His allegorical claim issued "the territory no longer precedes the map, nor does it survive it" (Baudrillard, 166). Following his publications of the late 70s and early 80s, the emergence of new art forms began to push the genre towards a simulated and hyper-real artifice. This signaled a new form of simulacrum. No longer was representation an illustration or abstraction of reality, the truth lay in the image itself. The image, as it is, thus supersedes the original. In effect, Baudrillard suggested that society would lose its ability to discern. Were this to be true, distinction and truth would be indistinguishable.

Clifford Chan

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