“You can’t live ideas. Most things that are alive don’t even have ideas. What’s really going on happens before ideas, before talk, before anyone says anything, and after.” Robert Redford, in the movie Havana
A shadowgraph is an image produced by casting a shadow on a screen. The shadow outlines the content, as words themselves signify what they represent. This exchange between the internal and the external is one of the primary interests of philosophy — and of art. The title is inspired by Kierkegaard’s essay, “Shadowgraphs,” in which he writes, “Sometimes when you have scrutinized a face long and persistently, you seem to discover a second face hidden behind the one you see.” Alberto Giacometti said something similar. He painted his wife day after day, year after year, and said that every day, he saw something new in her face.
The Greek root of idea is “to see.” In all appearances, there are multiple inner and outer worlds, and layers of truth. If we can’t actually “live ideas,” maybe we can inhabit them for a while and come away transformed.