Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Tabloid Mind

Is it possible to memorise scenes from our imagination? Can we freeze a frame on that screen of our mind’s eye and hold it, immobilised like an artist’s model while we pass over it to record the details which make it distinct? Does an attempt at memorising the imaginary alter it in some fundamental way, spurring it to a transmogrification like some fast-changing chameleon who has no desire to be seen? Can we ever imagine the same thing twice?

Through this exploration, I am recognising areas of the creative mind.

The tabloid imagination sensationalises. It fills in missing components with hearsay and lurid assumption. It has an agenda and circumvents the logic of clear reason to thrill and enchant. What it cannot know, it invents.

In those times when I am led into the pasture of the most wishful parts of my arching imagination, I do not stop to reason why. I enjoy the certainty my imagination sends, with its vivid scenes and that false confidence engendered by fabricated truth. I encourage those flights of fancy, for in these times, it is like being caught in the excitement of an expertly edited film sequence. Even if I am not the star of the movie, I freeze-frame and watch all I could never know play out in my mind’s eye. It is electrifying and captivating; it is mental gossip.

It never fails that I will memorise my own creative fantasy and insert these fantastic scenes into the places where knowledge or experience should lie. My mind has become an impossible movie-set world where every corner, far and wide has been ornamented with this fast-spun candy floss. It takes almost no inspiration for my thoughts are loose and keen to invent. Who needs actuality when the thrill and ease  of  fabrication is so close by and so heartily encouraged. Can we ever begin to separate what we think we know from what is certain in this phantasmagoria? Are we blissfully doomed to live forever in this wild, deceitful conjecture? Wherever do we start to replace information that is merely the craft of an over-simulated imagination?

Can we ever hope for truth again?

{Photographs by Richard Avedon}

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