I loved Plesch’s lecture about mimesis, and especially enjoyed seeing what realness in painting can do to our mind. One painter painted grapes looking so real that birds flew at them. Another painted a curtain, looking like it was covering a painting underneath, and fooled the other painter to try to open the curtain. It is amazing what real looking art can do to deceive us!
After the lecture, I met friend of Plesch’s named Jerry, who said that “People are more deeply affected the more real the scene is”. Things like global warming, our carbon emissions deteriorating the ozone, and deforestation are all very real pictures that we are responding to. The more real the image, the more action we will take about it. For example, Maine’s coyote restoration initiatives – many people are beginning to realize the need for coyotes in Maine, and are taking action about it. The lack of Coyotes is beginning to disrupt the ecological systems, allowing for more low- trophic level animals.
Plesh showed us some very real photos, which all created a common theme of realness to one part of our lives. This realness has an emotional value, like the painting with the skeleton lying on the tombstone, saying in latin “I was what you are, and am what you will be.” We see the realness of life, that we will all end up like the skeleton on the gravestone, and we will all live like the people dwelling above the gravestone.