Thursday, February 20, 2014

Doctor Who: A Hyper-real History?

During the post modern discussing today we touch upon the subject of forged paintings, and how some consider these to be better than the original. They are considered better sometimes because it took two skills, the ability to paint, the ability to copy a painting perfectly. For some the copy elements add so much more to the painting. Van Gogh was an artist we had brought up. An episode of Dr. Who popped into my brain entitled Vincent and the Doctor. In this episode the Doctor and his companion travel back in time to Van Gogh’s time to catch a monster he had captured in one of his paintings. Throughout the episode the Doctor’s companion Amy feels bad that Van Gogh does not know what kind of impact he made on the world. At the end of the episode the Doctor brings Van Gogh to the future and shows him his exhibit. Vincent Van Gogh gets to see all of his work on display before he creates it.

I apologize for the video quality.

 This makes me questions whether the paintings can actually be considered “true” Van Gogh paintings since he found inspiration for somewhere else. The paintings Van Gogh sees in the exhibit are not that Van Gogh’s paintings. By bringing Van Gogh to the future to see ‘his’ paintings the Doctor has taken away the idea of the “original”. The paintings that this time traveling Van Gogh sees can no longer come from original thought; he will only be creating a copy of the artwork that he sees. Does anyone else feel that this paradox messes with Van Gogh's ability to create 'original' artwork?

Another interesting tid bit about Vincent Van Gogh in the Doctor Who universe is his ability to see the future. Van Gogh creates a painting called “The Exploding Tardis”. 

In the painting the Doctors Tardis is depicted as such. It is exploding. I have a poster print of this painting, and actually refer to it as a Van Gogh. However, this painting was not created by Van Gogh, it was painted by someone who works on the television show. I think most Whovians would call it a Van Gogh even though it is not ‘true’. The style of the painting mimics Van Gogh perfectly, that it is appears as if he has created it himself.  This simple element allows the show to feel as though it is “real” that it takes place in this universe and not in a TV show. Doctor Who has created a history for the show that deviates from the history we know. Does this make the Whovians Universe any less real? Or does it make it hyper-real?

1 comment:

  1. I love that the print you chose for your own wall is a copy of a copy of an original...and that "original" is deconstructed by the show as it posits the originals as copies of themselves! Whew! Hyperreal head explosion.


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