Simulacrum: it’s an insubstantial form or semblance of something (MerriamWebster). In other words, it’s something that isn’t quite something else.
A reality, distorted and hidden in a lie.
The artists reject the notion that an image must be iconic–must accurately mimic its model–to be called art, preferring instead to create and offer their own interpretation of reality.
According to the late art historian, Michael Camille, “the term [simulacrum] was almost always used negatively, to define things that were deemed false or untrue.”
An image without a model, lacking that crucial dependence upon resemblance or similitude, the simulacrum is a false claimant to being which calls into question the ability to distinguish between what is real and what is represented.
The simulacrum also disturbs the order of priority: that the image must be secondary to, or come after, its model.
(“Simulacrum,” in: Critical Terms for Art History, ed. Robert S. Nelson and Richard Shiff. University of Chicago Press, 1996. pp. 31 – 44)
In other words, that which is created carries more importance, more weight, more value, than its inspiration.
I like this line: “the simulacrum . . . calls into question the ability to distinguish between what is real and what is represented.”
Can you imagine what an author could do with this symbolism–coupled with the symbolism of Hermes?
Ooh, ooh, I know! 😀