The Art of Deception


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I’m strangely attached to those photos I’ve made few weeks ago in a one gorgeous day when traveling by a train from an island when I live to the ‘mainland’ (frankly speaking – what a silly idea, to connect an amazingly wild part of an island with the rest of the land by … the railway; you can see the steel construction cutting up the waters of the harbour in half…)

They display clearly what an art of deception may be – what you are most likely to spot immediately in those images is the reflection of a view from an opposite window (which is, obviously, not visible there), the actual view being seen and photographed is either too evident or too blurry (as in a case of the last photo) to catch our eye and attention.

My intuition for today is that the art of deception understood in the above-mentioned way is probably the Art per se. Because what the Art is suppose to ‘show’ is that ‘something’ and ‘everything’ that tends to remain invisible and unaccessible in an immediate contact. That art projects what is the most important onto that what is plain to see and undisguised, and more significantly – it makes that invisible so clear and attractive that we lose ourselves – our perception and feelings just for that. Why is it deceptive, why the art of the ‘deception’ ? I’m not that sure – maybe we are not able to accept some aspects of our humanity and the world around in their absolute pureness and strength, maybe they will ‘blind’ us once seen or endanger our sensible powers and the rational sense ? … Maybe we naturally adapt self-defensive psychological mechanisms to protect ourselves from going ‘too deep’ , to not to struggle too much? So we make our way through our life convincing ourselves and/or letting others to convince us that, once our existence is more or less ‘meaningful’ and comfortable we are not bound to look for anything more, we can just ‘enjoy’ being mothers, husbands, lawyers, artists, farmers (whomever)… All sort of condensed spirituality and throwing oneself into deep waters almost on a daily basis is the ‘job’ of monks, priests, mystics, madmen… Indeed, the entire existence of an average contemporary man is ‘the art’ of deception – but – but this skill conceals rather than reveals, simplifies instead of looking for a fuller view. There are deceptions that make invisible visible and those which shut up the entire worlds.

About kasia

Born in Poland. Lives in Ireland, Cork. Visual artist. View all posts by kasia

2 responses to “The Art of Deception

  • darthsida

    Our existence has no meaning. (Anyway, not one that we’d like to think it has. But trains, trees, islands, mainlands have no meaning, too.)

    Is it so that the only photos a photographer can make of him/herself would be taken while (s)he stands in front of a mirror? And then probably the lamp flash would result in a bright blot where the head with a pointing camera should be? Or would one use a reflection method, like the one in your post, but then you might end up with a mere picture of your back?

  • skonieczna

    Darthsida,

    Thanks. There is yet another option: to outstretch your arms and to point the camera’s ‘eye’ straight into your face… Probably the most difficult ‘self-portrait’ to do, ‘cos long before you press the shutter the mask(s) is already on your face – you never ready to just ‘reveal’ yourself for yourself, even in a split of a second. That why artists are such a great deceivers and self-trickers. And that’s why the art of deception appears to be an Art per se. A’propos those images above – I see them as a sort of a frame within frame – a world within the world… Just imagine that you stare on pretty yet conventional view but then: ‘click’- the space is being broken and a new, unexpected dimension appears – as if somebody opened a little door/window to another world or, at least, to a new view of an old one. Just the change of the perspective, the way of seeing, perceiving… And when I look at those pictures of ‘my back’ I think of all those exiting moments when I won’t be on a train and that sort of a double seeing will still occur to me an awake a new world within the one which I am so obviously in…

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