It is possible to think that images are powerful only if they succeed in being or becoming the reality rather than a masked discourse created by somebody. This fact drives towards the problem of separating the reality from the idea of the real.
Thus, for Lacan, the real always has connotations of matter, beyond appearances and like an absolute. He defines the real as an absolute “without fissures” (Lacan, 1988: 97) that resists to be symbolized. Barthes also reflexes about that impossibility of the mind to get certainties of the real. He asks himself “But, what is real? It can only be known under the shape of effects (physical world), functions (social world) or ghosts (cultural world); in brief, what is real in itself is never more than interference” (Barthes, 2003: 224).
This issue reminds us of what Stanivslansky states about the truth in the theatre, as anything in which we sincerely believe, either in ourselves or in our partners’ souls. It is where the truth is inseparable from the belief, and the belief from the truth, because “one cannot exist without the other, and without any of them, it is absolutely necessary that you live your role like…a sense of faith in the reality of your sensations” (Stanislavsky, 1989: 141). Therefore, image’s actions involve not only the act of representing but also the interpretation of the real by ‘pretending’ to be the real and reality (Aumont, 1997: 158). In this way, it would be the reaction of the beholder that fixes the meaning so firmly that, after a while, it would be natural and inevitable that meaning and image are the same.
©Sebastian Guerrini, 2009