|Courtesy of www.ReneMagritte.org|
Typical of Magritte's mixing of categories is the ambiguity between the Things represented and the ideas governing them: The Balcony, originally created by Manet has three female figures in white dresses. When questioned on this by Michel Foucault, Magritte said simply:
For me the setting of The Balcony offered a suitable place to put coffins. The "mechanism" at work here might form the object of a learned explanation, which I am unable to provide. The explanation would be valid, indeed beyond question, but that would not make it any less mysterious. ”
He points out his verbal pun on "perspective", which in French can also mean "outlook" or "prospect": the fate that awaits us all. "This word", continues the artist, "like others, has a precise meaning in a context, but the context - as you show better than anyone in "Words and Things" - may say that nothing is confused save the mind that imagines an imaginary world".