Allegory of the Cave

2009 – 2011. Digital collage on acetate at Hillel Gallery.

The title of the piece refers to the tale from Plato’s Republic, about prisoners (since childhood) who are forced to stare at a single wall at the back of a cave, believing that only the shadows of moving things are reality. When exiting the cave, they are blinded by the light, as their understanding of the world becomes entirely fictitious and questionable. The computer monitor frame acts as today’s wall that people stare at for a portion of their life – staring at things that are no reality yet can be mistaken to be.

Since there are two transparent pictures overlapping one another within the setup, the image changes depending upon the viewers vantage point. It usually takes a moment for the viewer to recognize the second image, causing a somewhat puzzling experience (due to binocular disparity) as they are initially drawn to the bright display.