Paranoia, Knowledge and Art – part 1.

April 20, 2008

Interestingly, Lacan’s contemporary Salvador Dalí (you know, the designer of the Chupa Chups logo) also believed that our perception deceive us. This assumption relies upon the premise according to which we ,people, are all dependant on our sensory mechanisms, that is what we are not capable of is that we can’t sense the world objectively. Our five-six?-senses are,again, illusiory.

This is NOT what the lacanian Mirror Stage is mainly about, but my humble opinion is that it partly supports the notion of méconnaissance (misrecognition,fr.) As we are unable to see the world objectively, how can we see ourselves as we are? If we can NOT see ourselves as we are-think of your own audiotaped voiced that seemed strange to you, or what about the experience of you standing in a changing room, where mirrors surround you and you immediately meet the peculiarity of seeing your back and your front at the same time-so, then, how can we KNOW ourselves? The mirror is one thing in which we can perceive ourselves as others see us.

This change of perspective is what Salvador Dalí refers to as paranoiac state of existence.(this is a roughly translated notion) Paranoia is a state of mind that reclines upon a different point of view. Different in the sense that is unusal or mostly unaccepted by society. Science draws conclusions from certain observations, using a different point of view.

However, in the case of Art, now of Dalí, these different observations or representations can be and are projected onto the canvas. For this reason I think, Dalí’s Le jeu lugubre is a good example of changing perspectives. We have an eye that is common to a fish,a rabbit and a parrot. We, as viewers are being looked upon in this case, so it is basically an inversion of perspectives.

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5 Responses to “Paranoia, Knowledge and Art – part 1.”

  1. nezsike Says:

    that ended a little too abruptly for my taste, but hey, this was the first post i actually read with interest ;D honestly, i love Dalí, i love the idea of seeing ourselves as others do (and all thats behind the idea), so yea … cool. wanna read more on this 🙂
    AND SHE FINALLY GETS SMTH! 😀

  2. emmmmmma Says:

    and do you also like hearing yourself as others do? i think this is almost always a disappointment.. i mean, the voice i hear every day and find quite nice and calm sounds recorded on a tape like the voice of a 15 year old child.. so, people can never hear me as i hear myself, never can see me, as i see myself and can never say, i completely understand you.. 🙂 we never have a perfect access to the world (cos’ we cannot find THE perspective – or can we? 😉 ), to each other and maybe to ourselves either..
    it’s freaking me out, but it doesn’t make me give up searching and investigating .. 🙂
    tell me, i’m not paranoid.. 😀

  3. kelemenzsolt Says:

    nezsike: you already got the continuation of the same topic, which ends even more abruptly.
    emmmmma: my theoretical answer concerning your paranoiac existence is: yes and no. yes, because – if we give credits to lacanian psychoanalysis- we have already been conditioned to constant fear ‘produced’ by the Other(What does the Other want from me?) Or from an another point of view, just think of religion: it can be analyzed as one of the greatest paranoia: there is the Agent who sees us all, all the time.
    And no, because paranoia is considered to be an altered mental state(i.e not what is considered to be normal,defined by society-whatever ‘normal’ means)but as you have said, we have access neither to the Real, nor to ourselves-so it is a more or less ‘natural’ state-of-mind,I guess.

    I am going to deal with the register of ‘Voice’ soon, why it could seem unfamiliar to us or ehat it is.

  4. Dragon Z. Says:

    Hey, but it gets even creepier when you lose your voice out of the blue… You know what you want to say, you know that you’re actually saying it, but no one hears… or if they hear you, all that you get as a response is: Oh, my, your voice… So it really becomes like talking to the Other, but in the sense of coming face to face with the Real: aphonia, the silence within the voice, the void that makes voice possible at all. Speaking without your voice is the ultimate uncanny encounter.

  5. kelemenzsolt Says:

    Yes, on the other day i could not recognize myself in the reflection on the window onto which my image was projected by another window. I was standing there,thinking who ELSE is in my room?


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