The Situationist International was a group of artists and intellectuals revolutionaries, founded by Guy Debord. Their most well-known work is The Theory of the Spectacle, which explains the concept of the spectacle.
In the classic 80’s movie They Live, the main character finds sunglasses which allow him to see the world as it is. Subliminal messages in the advertisements and media, the true nature of the consumeristic society.
Debord writes in his work that we live the spectacle. Similarly to the concept of They Live, but the spectacle is used as a reference to the sense in which our understanding of the world is shaped by the media images that we consume. This would mean that our world-view is based on the images we consumed.
The very fact that the ideology we consume is passive, the spectacle refers to visual images. Furthermore, we live the representation and that representation become our life. The society presents us with templates of accepted and desired behaviour through commodities and ideologies, however those are only models of behaviour which suite current economic order.
Slavoj Zizek, a Slovenian philosopher, analyses a particular fighting scene in They Live in a documentary The Pervert’s Guide To Ideology. The main character tries to force his friend to try on the sunglasses to see the world for what it actually is. His friend refuses and they start to physically fight. However, the fighting scene is unconventionally long. Zizek explains how we live our ideology, and to step out of it is difficult, it hurts and you must force yourself to do it. (The Pervert’s Guide To Ideology, 2012)
He continues by explaining that the real danger is not our reality which enslaves us, but the tragedy of our predicament when we are within ideology, thinking that we escaped it in our dreams,
but this is when we truly become within the ideology. (The Pervert’s Guide To Ideology, 2012).
The Pervert’s Guide To Ideology (2012) Directed by Sophie Fiennes. [Film]. UK: Zeitgeist Films.