text and image roberto voorbij
To define his Simulacra theory Baudrillard made in his essays ‘Simulacra and Simulation’ from 1981 a variation on Borges’s fable ‘On Exactitude in Science’. In the original fable leads the striving to make the perfect map cartographers to a map which exactly coincides with their empire. In contrast with Borges’s fable Baudrillard lets subsequently not the 1:1 map decline but reality itself. And so it illustrates his theory; how in increasing graduations the representation takes in the place of the original. The photo realistic computer renderings of Joan Fontcuberta currently exhibited at the Amsterdam Foam, are both a perfect example of a Simulacra of the last order, and have a direct link with the element of the map. Joan Fontcuberta shows in an ironic way what the consequences are when the technological interpretation of reality is taken too far. Scientific software originally designed for the conversion of satellite images, maps, etc. to 3D, is applied here to art history. Of course has that never been the intention of the software developers but it does raise questions on a too blind faith in computer models and especially predictions, which are already widely applied in meteorology, stock trading and many other areas of the modern computerized world.
‘Landscapes without memory’ continues through Feb. 27.
Joan Fontcuberta – Orogenesis: Derain (2004). C-print.
André Derain – The Grove (1912). Oil on canvas, 117 x 81 cm.