Parallel reality: on imagery, reality and social agreement

Updated: Jun 6


Nurit Shany



Visual art is nourished by reality. I also collect ideas from around me in order to draw them.


The root of the Hebrew word 'reality' comes from finding or collecting, and teaches that each person's perception is the collection of an inventory collected and signed in memory.


An observing painter looks at defined items even though they do not constitute the whole of reality, that includes all things along the axis between the material and the concrete to the undefined and non-verbal.





I know that all the impressions, from the defined to the undefined, are set along an axis between the known and the unknown appearing along a timeline. On these two mentioned axes my attention illuminates the objects, feeling towards their use for the purpose of visual expression. I notice that even though I have verbal definitions at this stage, the report of my perception of reality does not match the immensity of existence. How do I know? Because I'm awakened to ignorance.


The five senses are not the same between people so in a particular event each participant may create a unique collection of reality and a different reality perception. From this moment begins a personal deviation of data collection which is material that undergoes changes in the cognitive processes of projection, symbolization and grouping of data, into reference groups resulting from early personal experience.


Thus, despite all the scientific research and statistics, it can be concluded that perception of reality is always personal and subjective and therefore in order to have a social consent a uniform infrastructure for social action is required in order to ensure understandable communication. So who assures me that what I am saying is what is understood? The infrastructure of understanding is based on social consent known as 'imagined consent'.


Mutual consent is not a concrete thing but it creates a sense of agreed pillars that exist because they are known to everyone. In the public sphere modes of communication, news, the dominant influential figures, the need for a leader, justice, national and cultural identity, money, exchange rate and the like that create agreed imaginary consent.


The question is how one sees art through imaginary-agreements and should they be followed or broken by me as an artist?


While erasing lines that separate shades and shapes in reality I create an asymmetrical reflection that breaks the accepted agreement and pattern.


Every concrete form tells a story about people and they are a mirror or a broken mirror in which others are reflected. Through reflections one can envision a reality parallel to that which we experience and know.


This perception creates a change in the social agreement that there are facts in the world and that they are agreed and real.


The asymmetrical reflection I draw stems from the search for the dividing line between the alternatives. The concept suggests ways in which a search will take place for a path that will allow me and you as viewers to look at the alternative content planes without the tendency to cling to them as truth, but out of a tendency to want to see another option and copy this tendency to pursue parallel realities outside of art.

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