R* and other realities

Billi Sodd comments on metaphysical dimensions

 La trahison des images by René Magritte, 1928-9, Oil on Canvas, 635 × 939.8 mm

In an attempt to explain my own artworks to Arild, an inmate at another institution, I have been forced to rely upon another frequently misunderstood artist, René Magritte, and his painting – shown above – The Treachery of Images. In the work he writes, in French, “This is not a pipe.”  It is a true statement because what he is trying to say is “This is an image of a pipe.”

In the Billi metaphysical language, there are an infinite varieties of realities. Because it is so difficult for me to keep such a large number of these in my brain, I have codified them into several different levels, and one special instance.

I use the letter R to represent a reality level. In my work, I am particularly concerned about five levels of abstraction, including the one level where I work exclusively.

R is the day to day reality that people experience in their day to day existence. There is absolutely nothing remarkable about it, if one excludes the fact that life, in itself, is totally remarkable.

R* represents my own personal life, the only life I understand as an insider. This is the special instance of life from which I view other lives, the other Rs moving about me.

R+n is my way of representing aggregated realities, such as families. However, nothing further will be said about these in this post.

R-n is my way of representing abstraction.

R-1 (theatre) is a three dimensional art form that unfolds in time. From my perspective it is the artform that is closest to reality.

R-2 (film) is a three dimensional art form that has been compressed to two dimensions. However, like theatre it also has a time dimension.

R-3 (photography) removes the flow of time from an artwork. Yes, there is a temporal element in that all photographs are taken at a precise moment in time.

R-4  (painting) is the level at which I work at. In my own particular work I consciously avoid the use of shadows, and gradiations of colour in order to avoid giving my works “depth”.

R-5 (drawing) provides an almost perfect level of abstraction for the artist. Here, the line is paramount.

These levels work for me, a visual artist working in two dimensions. Sam, a fellow inmate and sculptor, has a totally different perspective on reality. She codes every artwork A in terms of dimensions (3 or 2) and time with c = continuous, d = discrete, i = instantaneous, n = not relevant. Using her system A3c codes theatre while A3n codes sculpture.  In contrast, A2d codes film, A2i codes photography, while A2n codes painting and drawing.

In my next post, I will try to explain to Arild why these different levels of abstraction mean that an image of a naked person is very different from a naked person.