Rene Magritte, Post Structuralism and Silence of the Lambs

"Golconde", 1953 by Migrette

“Golconde”, 1953 by Migrette

The ‘Golconde’ was painted by great post-structuralist artist Rene Magritte in 1953. It shows us a lot of men. But it is not how we usually see men. Right? so, is this real representation of how men are?
This is where post structuralism has some insight to offer. Actually, there are no men in this painting. They are JUST PICTURES OF MEN, not men themselves. Thus, if men are not real men, why should they follow the rules of being men? (In this painting there are so many on and above the building)
This painting by Migrette is a post-structuralist in its content, which illustrates that any real object can not be represented as it is. This is just falsity of representation. Post-Structuralism insisted that there is no any object that we understand, but only the words or signs we assign to it. Nothing can be told and there is no absolute truth. We can only ‘construct’ what is truth.
We know things with help of our own assigned meanings. If I say a ‘lock’ you imagine a lock. It is actually not a real lock, but an imagined one. This puts limit to our whole knowledge. We know things only through pairs of binaries [men/women, day/night etc]. Actually whatever we understand about anything is not that thing itself, but what it IS NOT. What is a woman? IT IS NOT A MAN. What is a TREE? It is NOT A BUSH OR BRANCH. That means we can not understand what a thing means for itself, rather what it is not. Through this relationship, our whole body of knowledge is constructed (and challenged).

Let’s look at another painting by Magritte. This is ‘Son of Man’ painted in 1964.

Son of Man,  1964

Son of Man, 1964

It is said about this picture that “everything that we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see. Of course, the point is that there is nothing behind what we see. The space behind the apple does not exist—there is only the apple. Or rather, the image of the apple, which is not an apple at all.” Fused or Confused?

Rene Magritte was famous for painting post-structuralist ideas. A few more paintings by him may be Googled. But what point do I want to make here? Sure, I and you have seen post-structuralist paintings, literature and sometimes architecture, but till date I could not find a single piece of music which can be called ‘post-structuralist’.  No post-structuralist has ever been successful to define what is that is signified by music and what are the signifiers in it. Off course, music too has a language, it communicates with you and  Post-structuralism is all about the language. Why then there is silence of the lambs at this point?

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