“La trahison des images” (The Treachery of Images)
Oil on canvas
63.5 cm × 93.98 cm (25 in × 37 in)
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
In 1929, the Belgian artist Rene Magritte created The Treachery of Images. The painting showed a pipe, and under it the paradoxical inscription This is not a pipe. When it was pointed out to him that what he had created was in fact a pipe, Magritte replied “OK, you should try filling it with tobacco then”. Stated 10 years before the infamous WWII propaganda campaigns, Magritte’s warning was clear: Beware of the seductive and deceptive power of images.
Religious institutions, governments and corporations have mastered this power and exploit it to advance their interests. Unfortunately, these practices are at the root of today’s social, ecological and financial problems; and as representation technologies become more sophisticated, their sources more centralized and their reach broader, the problems are bound to become more challenging.
I found this today, over at Beware of Images. Definitely something to check out!