The interesting thing about reality is that it is a very powerful concept if you think about it because the moment somebody invokes reality, he or she is not just saying a word. He or she is not just proclaiming an empty phrase. It’s actually a claim to truth and whenever there is any sort of truth claim, you can bet that there are going to be political issues. The whole act of claiming some sort of truth is political in nature. Why? Politics is really all about the competition of priorities.
When you say that the sky is blue, you are saying that, in your mind, the sky is blue. That’s how you perceive it, and that’s what makes sense to you. Now, that sounds great if everybody else agrees. If everybody else, using their physical senses, see the same thing as you, then everybody is on the same page and everybody gets along well.
What if somebody has a different set of eyes or is taking a certain medication or has a different diet? Whatever the case may be their biochemical reality is different from yours and they don’t see a crystal blue sky. Instead, they see something that is reddish or they can see something greenish. What happens then?
This is where politics come in because, ultimately, there will be some sort of votes being taken. There will be certain established truths that everybody could “agree on.” Make no mistake about it truth claims are always prone to politics and denying this won’t make this truth go away.
This is why art is liberating because it really is a celebration of what is special to you and only you. It is an acknowledgement that everybody walks around with their own personal truths. Maybe that truth is based on some sort of association from the past. Perhaps that truth is taught by a person they respected in the past. Possibly, it’s the result of some sort of experience.
This realization that truth is not monolithic nor monopolized by one group or organization is one of the biggest distinguishing feature of the Post-Modern Age and its effects. Reality is not something set in stone that applies the exact same way to all people at all time under all situations and contexts. Or so it is thought. This multiple textual approach to reality presents challenges in addition to its much heralded benefits. It is definitely not an unqualified blessing as some would like to imagine it to be. Minkinnen’s work embodies some of these unstated and still unsettling questions.
Whatever the case may be it is personally theirs and the fact that we now live in a time and age where such truth claims are equally respected, it is a moment of celebration, and this is precisely what Arno Rafael Minkkinen’s work represents. It’s not a judgment. Instead, it’s just a statement of how things are playing out.
Now, this does not mean that you have to agree with it. This doesn’t mean that you should stop insisting on some sort of absolute truth, but turning a blind eye to this is probably not going to do you much good.