This is how I should start: what is an image: a mere evidence of a moment. A moment that has already happened somewhere in the timeline or has happened in someone’s mind if you talk about abstract or contemporary art. An image or painting or sketch or imagery art of that sort is just a snapshot. At least this is how we like to see it. But what are the prologue or the epilogue of that image. It seems fascinating when we think about what was the beginning of that image or what happened to it when it finished portraying whatever it was supposed to portray. I am not talking about the process of making an image or the process of hanging it on the wall to show it’s glory. Instead what is the story of the principle subjects or characters or thoughts in that image before and after it ended up being captured.
When you see a revolutionary painting of a man sentenced to death and about to be chopped his head by a Guillotine, do you really think about the French revolution or do you try to think or reason about what on earth possibly that man did to be in that position and what happened after his death or even if he was lucky to somehow escape the death after the theme was captured by the (unfortunate!) artist. What if he was wrongfully captivated. You saw a painting of an emperor posing for his artist who was told to capture the emperor’s magnificence by putting extra golden breastplates in the painting. But what was the off chance that before posing, the emperor was having a roasted turkey and heated conversation with his wife over a cheap gift he bought for her for their 7th marriage anniversary. And he also farted after the posing was done for that day. It’s quite possible, isn’t it.
When you enter into an art museum and when you come out, you are now an entirely different person with all those possible stories that had never occurred to anyone’s mind ever. We are never told any stories by the images itself, we create them in our mind. Some of us assume or gather historical evidence that matches the one when possible, and rest of them, we create our own idea with our own perspective. They evoke imaginations into our little minds. They play with us with our own toys, our fantasies. You wish if you were there, now here you are creating a fantasy world with you in it as a visiting character. We all create a hundreds of thousands epilogues and prologues and the consequences of those remain within us as long as we live through it, we imagine and they create their own universe like a ripple in space-time continuum. It’s like a dream with an abstract beginning or consequences. There might not be proper reasoning behind it, everything isn’t mathematics or at least within our mathematical grasp. So you can’t say those prologues and epilogues aren’t real. They are as real as we are, as long as we continue to think about them.