Trailokya revisited


The two walls of glass divide the image into three worlds. These worlds are certainly not Escher’s three: earth, water and sky. Are the Karl Popper’s or Mao’s? Popper’s are things, thoughts and concepts. Mao’s are roughly the political trio, the familiar 1st world and 3rd world and whatever the 2nd world is. The walls are fixed and impermeable, yet they pretend not to be.

Starting from the left we see the first world (a la Mao) behind the glass of the TV screen; the couple in there, in their elegant/expensive evening wear and champagne flutes living the desirable life. In front of that glass we see another world, a middle-class household. That hopeful couple has done some housework, put the kids to bed and popped a couple of brews to fantasize with. They mirror the rich folk’s postures, attempting identification with that life style.

I have broken some rules with the mise en scene, played with some of the conventions of what usually is. There is no real room–but there could be–behind that painting hanging over the couch yet we see the scene from there the point of this is to put you in the place of the artist. And is that artist’s world an observation room with a one-way mirror or is it a cage in a zoo where folks from the other worlds pay to watch?

You still play along, kinda like the couple does when the TV breaks the rules by acting like a window too, when it’s not one at all, when it pretends to allow ordinary folks to think they are hanging with the rich and famous. You, on the other side of yet another wall.