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Plato's Cave, 1985
This installation, in the window of the New Museum in Soho, uses Plato's metaphor to bring attention to a neglected U. S. Constitution.
Plato's saw most people as living inside a dimly-lit cave only able to perceive shadows of shadows. He believed that the bright sunlight outside contained the ideal reality, the pure understanding of ideas.
The Preamble to the Constitution, an elegant set of ideals we try to achieve, is outside in the sunlight.

The Bill of Rights, a set of practical laws we use in the real world, are embedded in the walls of the cave.

The ants, which represent humanity, roam inside the cave oblivious to the ideal reality and unaware of the eroding Bill of Rights.

Like the prisoners in Plato's cave, and perhaps like us, the ants are surrounded by shadows of ideals beyond their understanding.


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