The smile of a safe distance

Simulacra, count them: The big “little black dress,” the little nude in same, the painting of it as well and, by virtue of the ladder, the whole picture.  Click the image to make it bigger.

Think Baudrillard. He makes two four-part break-downs of simulation concepts. To which, in part, and as a whole, does the drawing match up with? Or does it at all?

One: “It is no longer a question of imitation, nor duplication, nor even parody. It is a question of substituting the signs of the real for the real.” A– a reflection of reality (imitation), B– a perversion of reality (duplication and substitution), C– a pretence (parody)of reality as the model now gone, and D– no “…relation to any reality whatsoever.”

Also:  For example. Utility value: A pen, either a Pilot G-2 or a Montblanc 149 writes. Exchange value: The G-2 costs $2 and the 149 $600. Symbolic value: Either pen could re-present a personal achievement or be a remembrance of a significant other. Social value: Possession of a high-status pen –the 149– confers status to the possessor. Does “free to be oneself now means free to project one’s desires on produced [gods] goods”?

On a purchased pen or a created drawing. And what utility has that drawing? Cheaper than a shrink and I enjoy the process. What exchange value? 4-6 billable hrs at $100 per equals $500, if it were to be sold. Symbolic value? I am an artist, therefore I draw. Or is it the other way around. Social value? Artists are respected, honored… yeah right.

Back to the art. if I really had to break it up into those parts. Like if I’d been thinking of  Baudrillard theory of simulacra all along…

You know I don’t do it that way.  An image just happens and I write (words, text) it down. Then f it’s still energetic enough to make me draw it out, I do so. Only after that do I go for the why of it, rummaging around in my books and search engines for a legitimization amongst real critic/scholars to paraphrase/quote here, in the text I post with the drawing.

… So the painting on the easel is the pretence; no naked woman there, no model is tucked in that little LBD. The little nude in the big dress is the reflection of reality, a “life” drawing. The big LBD is the perversion. It is exaggerated yet empty, a over-valued symbol of superficiality. And the drawing itself is the no-relation-to-any-reality part, it’s my little sad joke, “…it is not the smile of critical distance, but the smile of collusion” says Jean. But I say it’s the smile of a safe distance, for fear of a lack of collusion.

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