Painting and Lies
“A metaphor holds a truth and an untruth, felt as inextricably bound up with each other.” (Musil, The Man Without Qualities, p 634)
Is it as Nietzsche suggests that we delight in appearances – especially those with the lucidity of dreams? Painting, its object-hood negligible is more or less pure appearance and obviously there is more than the passing comparison between painting and dreams. The two are linked in their ability to compile disparate images, objects, spaces and seasons into a single cogent experience. Thus they make exist a space which is outside of any real experience, and while it certainly can directly reference life, it does at the same time contrive to demonstrate something beyond our experience – that larger truth. And like truth in dreams, it is a certainty as the dream lasts but likely to fade on waking. Though even then it leaves behind a trace of that former certainty, which though nebulous, makes it seem likely that if we point our mind at it we may yet recover its clarity. Painting and dreams overlap in their ability to tell us not only convincing truths, but in their ability to tell us equally convincing lies.