This is not a bite

Belgian painter René Magritte is known for his paintings which are questioning the relationship between images, language and reality. One of his most famous paintings in that regard is often known as Ceci N’est Pas Une Pipe, or “This is not a pipe”.

The Betrayal of Images - Rene Magritte (1953)

The Betrayal of Images - Rene Magritte (1953)

This painting became the basis for a book which was published in 1973 by french philosopher Michel Foucault. The book carried the title “This is not a pipe”. But this wasn’t the first time that Foucault referred to Magritte. One of Foucault’s most famous books carried the name Les Mots et les Choses  (meaning ‘Words and Things’, but the book is known in the english speaking world as “The Order of Things”). This was also the name of one of Rene Magritte’s former exhibitions in New York.

To depict is not to put something forward, says the header of the final chapter of the book. “A day will come”, says Foucault in the last sentence, “and the endlessly repeating image, together with the name it carries, will lose its identity. Campbell, Campbell, Campbell, Campbell.”

What is it that makes me think so much about play in this?

Bite, bite, bite, bite.