I’ll begin defining representation by decomposing the word into re – presention of something… which is to say, presenting it an other way or again. To further confuse the debate, I’ll use a quotation from the film director Jean-Luc Godard :

“Pas d’image juste, juste des images” (this is hard to translate, but roughly, “Representation is just a question of images, and not of just the right image.”

I’m offering this link to the wikipedia entry for the word Mimesis, the word for representation in Greek. Mimesis carries with it complex baggage surrounding its philosophical, historical and biological lineages, of special interest in its relation to art and aesthetics. In this context, it attempts to theorize the essence of artistic expression and the characteristics that distinguish works of art from other phenomena. Given its diverse implications to both art and biology, it has been used as a conceptual measuring stick to understand the relationship between art and nature, and how man’s self-sufficient and symbolically generated world, relates to the scientifically or sensorially measurable one. This University of Chicago text on mimesis gives an excellent history of this elusive concept, theory and act.


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