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Fresh issue still on sale! "I will leave this page open, looks like it's not loading. Let me know when it's working again." – Taavi Eelmaa & InferKit, "Triaad" (4/2022)

 

"What does it mean when a whole culture dreams the same dream?"*

Jaak Tomberg (3/2016)

Jaak Tomberg went to see "Photorealism: 50 years of hyperrealist painting" and "Cold look: Variations of hyperrealism in Estonian art", this year’s hyperrealism exhibitions at Kumu Art Museum.

 

 

13. V–9. X 2016
3rd floor, B wing, Kumu Art Museum
Artists: Art Allmägi, Jaan Elken, Ülo Emmus, Ando Keskküla, Miljard Kilk, Ilmar Kruusamäe, Holger Loodus, Mare Mikof, Maarit Murka, Lemming Nagel, Kaido Ole, Jüri Palm, Illimar Paul, Urmas Pedanik, Urmas Ploomipuu, Heitti Polli, Kaisa Puustak, Enn Põldroos, Tiit Pääsuke, Tõnis Saadoja, Ludmilla Siim, Vladimir Taiger, Rein Tammik, Enn Tegova, Andres Tolts, Silver Vahtre and Ignar Fjuk, Irene Virve, Marje Üksine.
Curator: Anu Allas.

 

 

"Photorealism: 50 years of hyperrealist painting", which opened in the large hall of Kumu this spring, offered a representative overview of international hyperrealism, which spread across the globe having emerged in the United States in the late 1960s and focused on the artists' contemporary Western living environment, its dominant visuals and the world views shaped by them. The exhibition covered three more or less commonly distinguished periods in the history of hyperrealist painting, from the "core artists" of the early days to the emergence of a broader international following to today's digitally created hyperrealism. Opening a short while later on the 3rd floor of Kumu, "Cold look: Variations of hyperrealism in Estonian art" added a useful local touch to this set of problems.

I will, however, say right at the outset that what I will mainly be discussing the first generation of hyperrealists – from the late 1960s to the mid-1970s. Therefore, I will focus on the first half of the exhibition and the cultural atmosphere that prevailed in the early days of hyperrealist art. I have a feeling that the later work is more likely to appeal to technology geeks, or those who are struck by the cognitive vertigo caused by the ambivalence between photography and painting, and the maximum proximity between the two. I believe that every new artistic technique or means of expression makes its breakthrough under specific historical conditions, while simultaneously being both a symptom of and reaction to these conditions. From this point of view, it appears that in the later periods of hyperrealist painting, the technique of photorealism gradually became independent of the historical conditions in which hyperrealism originated, and while approaching perfection in realising its technical potential, it ceased to carry the historical function that is did in the early days. This tendency also manifests itself in the apparent attempts during the later periods to extend and vary the repertoire of the thematic motifs depicted; this repertoire was more distinct and clearly identifiable in the early days.

My particular interest, then, lies in hyperrealist painting in its original historical conditions, within the period and cultural atmosphere where the technique used and subject matter depicted in the paintings formed a clearly discernible imaginary unity, at a time when their "what?" and "how?" more or less coincided.

 

The "what?" and "how?" of hyperrealism

At least in that early period, hyperrealist painting was, on the one hand, defined by a very specific method/process, the successive components of which have been listed as being observation, seeing, capturing in a photograph, picking out a detail within the image, projecting it onto the canvas and the time-consuming work with a paintbrush. On the other hand, however, it is obvious that this method was not used to depict just anything. What we find is a relatively established repertoire of themes that reflect the focal points of the American way of life at the time: cars (close-ups of bumpers, radiator grilles, shiny chrome, polished paintwork); motorcycles, caravans; colourful children's toys; glittering pinball machines, confectionery in every possible colour, everyday objects; interiors of eating venues, salt shakers, ketchup bottles, and so on; scenes of American urban life: brand names, slogans and neon signs, reflections on shop windows; and blown-up portraits of the members of the middle or upper middle class.

But even this repertoire can be further narrowed down in crucial ways: not just any cars, but mainly roadsters from a particular period or derivatives thereof; not just any motorcycles, but cruisers (à la Harley Davidson); not just any eating venues, but diners, or Everyman's eateries, as it were; not just any portraits, but static, usually posed, portraits of people at a moment of leisure.

And the motifs are always accompanied by an abundance of deep colour; the surfaces reflect, shine and gleam (but it is instantly recognisable that they do not reflect the same way as do, for example, water lilies in a pond in some impressionist painting, or gleam the way that crops do in the sun and wind in some traditional landscape painting of a field). A very specific technique is used to depict very specific motifs, and this is mimesis in the classical sense of the word: on the one hand, something is being imitated, while on the other, a (new) world is at the same time being created through this imitation. Elsewhere in literature, a qualifying formulation has been articulated: these paintings create a new visual reality, one that is less to do with the real world and more with a reproduced reality.

This latter observation may be read from a purely technical point of view: indeed, what a hyperrealist painting imitates directly in a realistic manner is not reality, but reality as captured using a method (photography) that is even more "realistic" than painting. On this reading, "hyper-" would refer to a double departure from reality (and yet a double realism!). However, the above dualism (real world – reproduced reality) involves a level of meaning that to my mind is altogether more important for understanding hyperrealism: a question about the very reality that is being imitated or created here through a realistic double departure (and one whose thematic repertoire, as we saw, is easy to summarise in general terms).

A first hypothesis that challenges the cultural experience and intuition about hyperrealism could therefore be as follows: it is not only that early hyperrealist painting imitates/creates reality in a hyperrealist manner, but the cultural reality that hyperrealism brings into focus is itself hyperreal.

 

Umberto Eco: the hyperreal

"Hyperreal" is, of course, a broader descriptive marker than "hyperrealism" and, as it has been used, refers to the essential fundamental parameters of cultural reality itself – the particular ways of perceiving, structuring and creating it – rather than a specific method of artistic depiction. Perhaps the most elaborated and well-known definition and description of the hyperreal (or hyperreality) can be found in Umberto Eco's "Travels in Hyperreality", which may be somewhat forgotten in this country (or is instead all too much taken for granted?), but is available in its entirety in Estonian.1 It will be worth our while to discuss this book at some length here, as it contains quite a few descriptions that also serve well to illustrate the original impulses and undercurrents of hyperrealist painting.

According to Eco, hyperreality stems from a characteristically American way of storing reality, the phenomena and events of the past, a way that at the same time is consistent with the relative "brevity" of the history of the United States and the somewhat artificial quality of how Americans produce national identity (a process that unwittingly compensates for the relative absence of a sense of history that is characteristic of the great nations of Europe, a sense that appears to have developed "organically" over a long period of time, and an "identity" based on it). Eco opens his account of hyperreality – presented as a detailed travel journal – by discussing holograms and holography, which for him were the epitome of comprehensive, precise realistic representation at the time:

 

"It isn't cinema, but rather a kind of virtual object in three dimensions that exists even where you don't see it, and if you move you can see it there, too. [---] Holography could prosper only in America, a country obsessed with realism, where, if a reconstruction is to be credible, it must be absolutely iconic, a perfect likeness, a "real" copy of the reality being represented."2

 

After continuing with a description of wax statues ("hyperrealistic sculpture") and the mausoleum that President Lyndon B. Johnson built in Austin to reflect every aspect of the story of his person, family and career, Eco concludes that all this…

 

"[---] suggests that there is a constant in the average American imagination and taste, for which the past must be preserved and celebrated in full-scale authentic copy; a philosophy of immortality as duplication. It dominates the relation with the self, with the past, not infrequently with the present, always with History and, even, with the European tradition. Constructing a full-scale model of the Oval Office [in this mausoleum of Johnson's] (using the same materials, the same colours, but with everything obviously more polished, shinier, protected against deterioration) means that for historical information to be absorbed, it has to assume the aspect of reincarnation. To speak of things that one wants to connote as real, these things must seem real. The "completely real" becomes identified with the "completely fake." Absolute unreality is offered as real presence. The aim of the reconstructed Oval Office is to supply a "sign" that will then be forgotten as such: The sign aims to be the thing, to abolish the distinction of the reference, the mechanism of replacement. Not the image of the thing, but its plaster cast. Its double, in other words."3

 

Following these preliminary definitions (which, as so often with Eco, it is more economical to quote than to rephrase), Eco poetically articulates the principle underlying his subsequent exploration:

 

"And so we set out on a journey, holding on to the Ariadne-thread, an open-sesame that will allow us to identify the object of this pilgrimage no matter what form it may assume. We can identify it through two typical slogans that pervade American advertising. The first, widely used by Coca-Cola but also frequent as a hyperbolic formula in everyday speech, is "the real thing"; the second, found in print and heard on TV, is "more" – in the sense of "extra." The announcer doesn't say, for example, "The program will continue" but rather that there is more to come." In America you don't say, "Give me another coffee"; you ask for "More coffee"; you don't say that cigarette A is longer than cigarette B, but that there's "more" of it, more than you're used to having, more than you might want, leaving a surplus to throw away – that's prosperity."

This is the reason for this journey into hyperreality, in search of instances where the American imagination demands the real thing and, to attain it, must fabricate the absolute fake; where the boundaries between game and illusion are blurred, the art museum is contaminated by the freak show, and falsehood is enjoyed in a situation of "fullness," of horror vacui."4

 

What follows are detailed descriptions of the countless objects encountered by Eco on his journey: the absolute reconstructions of events in museums; the accurate and total, but kitsch amassing of countless styles in buildings; the historical reconstructions of all sorts of farms; the countless wax museums; the exact imitations of well-known art classics5; the theme parks, ghost towns, Disneylands, wild worlds, water worlds and numerous enchanted castles, most notably the one built by William Randolph Hearst, who bought it in Europe, had it dismantled brick by brick, the masonry systematised and the castle reassembled in America, piling up loads of historic artwork there, while not distinguishing the genuine from the copies:

 

"An incontinent collectionism, the bad taste of the nouveau riche, and a thirst for prestige led him to bring the past down to the level of today's life; but he conceived of today as worth living only if it guaranteed to be "just like the past.""6

 

In their own way, all the things listed above blur the boundary between the past and present, the genuine and the artificial, the original and the copy; what results is precisely the hyperreal segment of reality that is based around this blurred boundary.7 Two generalisations stand out as essential for summarising Eco's accounts: "Everything looks real, and therefore it is real; in any case the fact that it seems real is real"8 and "not, "We are giving you the reproduction so that you will want the original," but rather, "We are giving you the reproduction so you will no longer feel any need for the original."9 So much about hyperreality in general, as a specific way of accumulating reality and the past, and about cultural hyperrealism as a specific way of consuming culture.

 

Hyperrealist painting and the American Dream

Now how does painting, as hyperrealism or photorealism, fit into this more general account of hyperreality? Eco only briefly mentions hyperrealist "museum art" on a mere three occasions in his book, and even then in a somewhat belittling tone (compared to the great hyperreality "available in ordinary reality"). The most telling of all is the closing paragraph of "The City of Robots":

 

"Like the Hearst Castle, Disneyland also has no transitional spaces; there is always something to see, the great voids of modern architecture and city planning are unknown here. If America is the country of the Guggenheim Museum or the new skyscrapers of Manhattan, then Disneyland is a curious exception and American intellectuals are quite right to refuse to go there. But if America is what we have seen in the course of our trip, then Disneyland is its Sistine Chapel, and the hyperrealists of the art galleries are only the timid voyeurs of an immense and continuous "found object.""10

 

Regardless of whether one does or does not agree with this view of the relationship between hyperreality and hyperrealism, Eco uses it to place hyperrealist painting within a more general framework of hyperreality. And the two do indeed share something in common: a purely technical conflict in perception (conformity?), which may derive from the, in turn, rather punctual imitation of photographic images in painting, from the "filtering" of reality through two fundamentally different regimes of imitation, reflects a conflict in perception (conformity?) that results from experiencing cultural hyperreality, based around the blurred boundary between the genuine and the artificial. But there is also something that distinguishes Eco's account of hyperreality and hyperrealist painting: hyperrealist paintings do not travel to purpose-built worlds (theme parks and so on), but rather conduct aesthetic operations on a perfectly ordinary reality that "already exists" and certain objects within that reality.

A second hypothesis to challenge the cultural experience and intuition about hyperrealism could therefore be as follows: all these objects and the ways in which they are represented have something to do with "the American way", "the American Dream".

I do not have a lot of space to offer a detailed definition of the American Dream here (and the concept is anyway easily grasped by common intuition), but speaking in the most general terms, I would distinguish three intertwined levels within this phenomenon. At the most general level, the American Dream is the national ethos of the United States of America (democracy, rights, liberty, opportunity and equality), in which liberty means the opportunity for prosperity and success, the opportunity for the family and children to climb the social ladder, and all this through hard work, in a society with relatively few barriers.

At another, significantly more pragmatic, level, this general ethos takes the form of the narratives of the American Dream. I asked around among friends to see what first comes to people's minds in association with the phrase "American Dream". Straight off, three familiar narratives were mentioned: first, the gold rushes, or the mass euphoria of treasure-hunting prospectors (and frankly one that claimed many victims) in "goldfields" that were often discovered in remote, unpopulated areas. Second, the story of Hugh Hefner – a poor young man who started out as a paper boy but through hard work ended up a millionaire. And third, the 1976 feature film "Rocky" – the story of a criminally tempted poor boy from the slums, who (once again) through sheer hard work becomes a rich and famous boxing champion.

However, keeping in mind the thematic repertoire of early hyperrealist painting, a third, purely material, level of the American Dream may be of interest: at this level, the American Dream may be seen as an everyday myth embodied in certain material phenomena, specific everyday objects and the aesthetic related to them.

Something similar – presenting cultural everyday mythologies – was also what Roland Barthes was doing in the 1950s in his famous collection "Mythologies" (1957), where he brought together essays written over the course of several years, each of which discussed an object of modern culture that had taken on "added mythological meaning" (the face of Greta Garbo, Romans in films, the Tour de France, a new Citroën, striptease, etc.) In several places, Barthes describes the principle behind his writing and selection of objects: "to account in detail for the mystification which transforms petit-bourgeois culture into a universal nature" and to understand (or describe) "how a society produces stereotypes, i.e. triumphs of artifice, which it then consumes as innate meanings, i.e. triumphs of nature".

These statements quite clearly resonate with Eco's own observations about the relationship between the genuine and the fake – but most importantly, they provide a background against which it becomes clear that the thematic repertoire of the objects depicted in the early hyperrealist paintings is tied to the American Dream at the level of everyday mythology. What is represented here is no longer a dream that was to be striven for or one that marked an unattainable ideal in some completely separate space, but a dream that existed in little pieces of everyday mythology within a completely ordinary, attainable modern reality. "Living the American Dream", as the Americans say. In addition to a certain cultural status, the roadster, cruiser and horse also designate an unrestricted freedom of movement "in a wide and flat country"; the diner suggests the availability of sustenance to everyone and so on. Crystallised in all these elements is a piece of the ethos that is tied to the broader American Dream.

 

Photography and painting, indexicality and iconicity

Now what is the meaning of the operation that the hyperrealist technique performs on these carefully chosen objects of everyday mythology? In other words, why could they not have just either photographed the objects or painted them?11

I submit that the aesthetic effect characteristic of hyperrealism relies on creating maximum proximity between two opposing and essentially incompatible artistic registers of expression. Photography is an indexical artistic technique: as Barthes pointed out in his "La chambre claire" (Camera lucida, 1980), an object shown in a photograph has to have existed in reality. In other words, photographs are causally related to the things that they are photographs of. The referent of a photograph is necessarily real: Walter Benn Michaels points out as an interesting analogy the fact that photography is similar to fossils, whose referent – a lizard, for example – must have actually existed in order to have left an impression in the rock.12

Painting, in contrast, is an iconic artistic technique: the objects depicted in paintings are not dependent on their having actually existed. I can paint a portrait of someone that I have invented – in contrast to the lizard, whose impression in rock indicates that it has actually existed. Barthes, too, contended that a painter can fake reality without having seen it; the nature of photography deprives the photographer of such a privilege.13 (By way of an interesting discussion point, this gives rise to the hypothesis that a photograph (of a thing) stands closer to reality (or the real thing) than it does to the painting (of that thing), this way by its very nature blurring the traditional, seemingly clear-cut, relationship between reality and art.)

In hyperrealist painting, these two registers – the indexical and the iconic – are brought together to the highest possible degree of proximity, as it were.14 This means that the pictorial representation is not completely reducible to being a copy/fake of reality (its relationship to the object is not absolutely indexical), but neither is it completely reducible to the artist's interpretation (for it is firmly based on real objects; its relationship to the object is not absolutely iconical). And what happens to the American Dream when represented this way? I would say that neither does it become completely real, nor does it remain completely in the sphere of a mere dream.

It is precisely from this Ecoesque ambivalence that hyperrealist painting draws its ability to mobilise the desires that relate to the American Dream – and it is precisely the reason why these pictures feel objectively attractive, as it were. Mythologised everyday objects are not completely promoted to a dream sphere here; rather, they are injected with the dream right at the level of reality. In terms of technique, this is expressed through deep and bright colours, reflections, shiny surfaces, even "the absence of air", as it were – through an absolute, polished decontamination, which suggests wealth or the purity of the dream as such, regardless of the specific objects being depicted. There is not a speck of dust on the backs of the workers in a diner on their lunch break; even the banged up Volkswagen Beetles stacked in a junkyard shine as if they had just received a fresh coat of wax at the car wash. Nevertheless, it all seems "real", reminding one of "A Clockwork Orange" (1962) by Anthony Burgess, where the protagonist Alex observed that it was funny how the colours of the real world only seemed real when you saw them on the TV screen. Injecting dreaminess into everyday objects that are anyway already infected with the (completely hyperreal) American Dream – that, to my mind, is the act performed by hyperrealist painting.

 

 

Richard Estes
Car Reflections
1969, oil on canvas, 84x127 cm
Courtesy of the artist, Institute for
Cultural Exchange, Tübingen

 

 

 

Postscript: utopia and social criticism

Two questions remain to be addressed. First, could hyperrealist painting have something to do with utopia? At first blush, there seem to me to be two parallel answers to this question:

 

– Yes, in the spatial sense that these pictures try to persuade us that the American Dream is/can be realised in everyday reality. The relatively distinct selection of objects represented and the static, non-narrative quality of the mimetic method of representation reinforce the impression of a utopian kind of hermeticism, the impression of the possibility of a micro- or pocket-utopia within ordinary everyday reality.

– No, in the communal sense that the paintings do not point to a new form of social organisation that is superior to the existing one. Rather, they promote the symbols of everyday mythology of an already existing world order.

 

There is no doubt, however, that what hyperrealist painting does illustrate is the status of utopia in an age of hyperreality or simulation. In his essay "Simulacra and Science Fiction", Jean Baudrillard looks at the by now at least 500-year history of utopian dreaming from the point of view of the gradual reduction of the distance between the real and the imaginary.15 In broad terms, he divides this history into three periods:

 

(1) the age of pre-modern utopia, where there is maximum separation between the imaginary and the real: the island of utopia constituted an absolute qualitative contrast to the everyday, imperfect continent of reality;

(2) the age of science fiction, where what is represented is an extravagant, but qualitatively similar, projection of the actual world of production;

(3) an implosive age of models (which could be called the hyperreality of the age of simulacra), where the imagination only captures reality and leaves no room for anything beyond it, for transcendence, for projecting worlds different from those that exist or for breaking out into such worlds.

 

It is the status of the imagination in this last period that the hyperrealist artistic act seems to embody. It originates in a culture where any act of representing something transcendent or external seems to require the imagination to expend astronomical levels of energy – in fact, all the energy is spent on merely imitating/capturing the reality of the existing consumer society with its agley plurality. The fact of relying directly and solely on the reality that exists is underscored by the indexical nature of the photographs on which the paintings are based as well as the time- and energy-consuming process of transferring them onto the canvas. The only reality seems to be the reality of the American Dream; it is as if it were the only dream available according to these paintings. And all that the artist is therefore left with is imitating it with mimetic meticulousness; the result is a perfectly Ecoesque complete fake, through which to make reality itself accessible to the imagination.

In his book "Culture Jam", Kalle Lasn, from whom I have borrowed the title of this article, observes that the traditional understanding tends to view dreams as individual and subjective.16 Hyperrealist painting in a hyperrealist culture, however, suggests the possibility that these subjective dreams are being colonised by one great collective dream: a whole culture dreams the same dream.

A second question, but one that is related to the first, is whether early hyperrealist painting may have a socio-critical input of its own. Many hyperrealists have said that they paint these motifs from urban and suburban America because they are associated with their background and the surroundings of their youth. Robert Bechtle claims to love and hate what he paints when dealing with middle class lifestyle, which he used to try to distance himself from in his youth. Ben Schonzeit adds that he dislikes looking at the things he paints and that he would rather have most of the places in his pictures torn down.

Be that as it may, I still have the feeling that no technique, at least in figurative or realist painting, is less infected with genealogical psychology or explicit criticism of cultural surroundings. If social criticism can be read into it, it is not by virtue of what is "immediately given" in the paintings, but rather at some higher-order metalevel, for example, proceeding from the assumption that the representation of cultural clichés should a priori somehow critically mobilise the viewer's mind.

I would argue for this statement by placing it against the background of the old, classic debate over the differences between realism and naturalism. In many of his works, and with particular concentration in the essay "Erzählen oder Beschreiben?" (Narrate or Dictate, 1936), the Hungarian Marxist philosopher György Lukács looks at the functional status of descriptive detail in realist (Dickens, Tolstoy and Balzac) and naturalist literature (primarily Zola, but partly also Flaubert).17 For Lukács, the extensive masses of description and specific descriptive details that abound in realist and naturalist literature perform fundamentally different functions: while in realism descriptions are still solely in the service of the story or of illustrating the central characters that support the storytelling (and are dosed with carefully crafted proportionality), in naturalism description already constitutes an autonomous level that stands separately from the story or the characters. While in realism descriptions contribute to the dynamic of storytelling, in naturalism they serve to illustrate a static scene that is autonomous of the story. Consequently, Lukács claims that naturalism characteristically reduces everything to the present, demotes characters to the level of lifeless objects, reduces immediate experience to observation and assimilates everything that exists to something like a still-life painting. Furthermore, Lukács claims that naturalism is incapable of dynamically describing people or social classes in action, or of expressing the hope of change held by the struggling classes.

Against the background of this distinction, the hyperrealist style of representation with all its static quality of photography, the emphatically scientific-technological precision of imitation and lavish sensual qualities that almost dissolve the viewer seems to me to side with naturalism. It would not be inappropriate to call it hypernaturalism. But even if hyperrealism lacks any discernible critical potential (and it is possible that I have overlooked something), it does have loads of potential to stir up critical talk around itself, to keep the critical discourse going, so to speak.

 

Jaak Tomberg is a literary scholar. His main fields of study are utopian literature and science fiction, realism and philosophy of literature.

* See Kalle Lasn, Culture Jam. The Uncooling of™ America. New York: Eagle Brook, 1999, p 57.

1 See Umberto Eco, Travels in Hyperreality: Essays. San Diego, New York, London: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1990. In Estonian: Reis hüperrealsusse. Tallinn: Vagabund, 1997. The bulk of the articles and essays collected in the Estonian translation were written in 1973, 1977 and 1983 – which is also to say, in the wake of the first generation of hyperrealist painting.

2 Eco, Travels in Hyperreality, p 4.

3 Ibid., pp 6–7.

4 Ibid., pp 6–8.

5 On a not particularly long road trip, Eco sees seven versions of Leonardo's Last Supper.

6 Ibid., p 22.

7 Parallel to Eco's theory and travel writing, both in time and content, is Jean Baudrillard's theory of the precession of simulacra in his "Simulacra and Simulation", which is well known in Estonia, and the travel notes in his "America", which largely corresponds to the theory. The parallels between them make it tempting to say that the "theory" of hyperreality was born when European thinkers were seeking to organise their impressions after travelling to America.

8 Ibid., p 16.

9 Ibid., p 19.

10 Ibid., p 48.

11 Here I am not discussing the rather obvious historical fact that, after the invention of photography, the mainstream of painting for a long time distanced itself from the register of realism, and that hyperrealism is a method through which painting once again stood face to face with the question of reality and verisimilitude, which the existence of photography raises for it.

12 W. B. Michaels, The Beauty of a Social Problem. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2015, pp 9–10.

13 Of course, photographs can be manipulated (especially in today's digital age), but this does nothing to eliminate the essential indexicality of photography, the actual existence of the referent of a photograph.

14 I say "proximity" because, at least in the early days, absolute amalgamation or convergence was not involved; and in my view, the aesthetic effect of hyperrealist painting at any rate relies on the fact that the indexical and the iconical registers stand apart at least to a minimal degree here: with absolute convergence, the problem of the perceptual conflict between these registers would not dynamically pose itself. It is precisely this latter point that makes modern-day hyperrealism less interesting for me: I agree with painter Kaido Ole, who said in a recent episode of the TV programme "OP" that with increasingly sophisticated technology – with the transition from celluloid to pixels and from oil to acrylic – formal accuracy began to encroach upon the individual vision and freedom of the artist.

15 Jean Baudrillard, Simulaakrumid ja teaduslik fantastika. – Jean Baudrillard, Simulaakrumid ja simulatsioon. Tallinn: Kunst, 1999, pp 175–184.

16 Kalle Lasn, Culture Jam: The Uncooling of™ America, p 57.

17 György Lukács, Narrate or Describe? – György Lukács, Writer and Critic. Lincoln, Nebraska: An Authors Guild, 2005, pp 110–148.

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