Plural simulacra from Latin: simulacrum, which means “likeness, similarity”.
The word was first coined during the late 16th century in the English language. A simulacrum is a representation or imitation of a person or a thing. It defines an appearance that doesn’t refer to any underlying reality. This is the sense of the Greek word eidolon, which gave idol in Latin and is translated by simulacrum. In opposition, the term icon is translated by copy; The copy always sends back to the imitation of reality, without concealing it. Eidolon opposes to Eidos or idea, translated by form or shape.
In his books Le Platonisme (P.U.F., 1985), Vincent Descombes explains:
“Nor copy, nor model, simulacra is the refutation to distinguish the original from its imitation.”
And a bit before Descombes, in La Logique du Sens (Éditions de Minuit, 1969), Gilles Deleuze affirms: “There’s in the simulacra a “go-mad”, a borderless becoming, a subversive becoming, skilled in avoiding the equal, the limit, the Similar.”
Simulacrum are effects of our imaginary that sees what doesn’t exist and makes us believe it totally does. If we can’t deny the existence of reality, we can’t deny neither the power of our imaginary in reinterpreting and transforming this so-called reality.
Imitation, falsification and, illusion… Here are the ideas floating around the notions of simulacrum. As said before, the border between what’s real and what our imaginary lets us believe is truly blurred.
“Nobody can know if the world is fantasy or reality, and neither if there’s a difference between dreaming and living.” Jorge Luis Borges
This is what I believe. Everything is made of “Simulacres”. The way we exist, how we present ourselves, how we meet the Others, encounters, work, love… All are masks we create, facing other masks, infinitely dizzying…
Rationality can be a terrible trap, but without it we would fall deep down into the pit of anxiety and despair, incomprehension.
Still, I want to see the world always more and more revealed, diving into imaginary and deconstructed our Simulacres, as far as I adore them…