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The Treachery of Images by René Magritte

(1929) Painting of a pipe, under which is written “Ceci n’est pas un pipe.”

Because it’s not a pipe, it’s an image of a pipe. The word “pipe” is not a pipe. But to call this treachery is wild. Are representations betraying us by not being the thing? Aren’t we the ones who demanded they stand in for the thing?

Or is it a pipe, and the text, the image is lying to us?

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