La Imagen

Buque Escuela Gloria. Amada Nacional de Colombia.

Diariamente los seres humanos somos impactados por decenas de mensajes de toda índole gracias a la enorme penetración y capacidad intrusiva de los medios y canales de comunicación. El mercado ya no se mide por los tradicionales conceptos de medios masivos o alternativos sino propios, ganados y pagados, lo que nos convierte en emisores y receptores. Gracias a ello consideramos estar navegando en un mar de imágenes (íconos, signos, símbolos…) que nos embisten y de los cuales sentimos que no podemos escapar. En constante decodificación de todo cuando observamos sin detenernos a pensar sobre dicha realidad. Alguna vez nos hemos preguntado, ¿qué es una imagen?, ¿desde cuándo nos embisten?

Las imágenes han existido, para el ser humano, desde sus orígenes como especie, desde que estamos dotados del órgano de la vista y su consiguiente sentido de la visión.

Pinturas rupestres en la vereda "Chimitá", de Betulia, Santander, Colombia Imagen propia (del autor) tomada en julio de 2004, que no viola ninguna política de copyright
Pinturas rupestres en la vereda «Chimitá», de Betulia, Santander, Colombia Imagen propia (del autor) tomada en julio de 2004, que no viola ninguna política de copyright

Las imágenes son todas aquellas representaciones figuradas relativas al objeto o a los objetos percibidos. Dado ese enfoque, una imagen es la representación mental, es la recreación o la reacción resultante de un estímulo sensorial y es por ello que las hay sonoras, táctiles, gustativas y desde luego la que nos atañe en esta reflexión, las visuales.

Al respecto, imagen es todo aquello que nuestra mente recrea luego de ser impactados nuestros sentidos: el aroma de un café caliente, el sabor de una carne asada, la suavidad de una pluma en nuestra mano, el canto mañanero de un ave y la belleza del río que discurre sinuosa y continuamente. Lo anterior son las imágenes que recrea nuestro cerebro cuando dichas impresiones impactan los sentidos. De ninguna manera obtenemos al objeto en sí, sino que se captura una imagen del mismo.

Arroyo. Piojó, Atlántico
Arroyo. Piojó, Atlántico. Fotografía: Gilberto Gómez Lindo.

A dichas impresiones las proveemos de significado, las almacenamos y luego las relacionamos en el diario discurrir de la vida. Gracias a la percepción humana se pueden concebir cuatro tipos de imágenes visuales según José María Casasús:

  1. La imagen propiamente dicha: el río desplazándose
  2. La imagen de la imagen: Aquella que se hace el lector u observador de una pintura, por ejemplo, de un río desplazándose que el espectador no presencia pero que su mente recrea por la referencia recibida.
  3. La imagen de la no imagen: Generada a partir de las palabras escritas (la página, las letras, los signos, etc.)
  4. La no imagen: Aquella que se desprende al escuchar, de un tercero, la narración verbalizada de un río que discurre tranquila y sinuosamente. En este caso no hay presencia directa del objeto.

En los dos últimos casos no hay una imagen real que impacte al sentido de la vista, inicialmente tenemos el objeto literario en sí, totalmente ajeno al objeto en descripción y en el segundo se toma el relato oral ajeno sobre una imagen para así construir una propia.

Las imágenes, efectivamente, nos rodean y nos envuelven en la sociedad, pero no necesariamente y exclusivamente debido a los intrusivos medios de comunicación sino a nuestra intrínseca naturaleza sensorial y cognitiva. La Prehistoria existe por imágenes: pinturas rupestres, arquitectura, tapicería, alfarería, armas, herramientas, esculturas, entre otras.

En la modernidad hemos configurado un modelo comunicacional de íconos, signos con los cuales creamos lenguajes visuales aunque también multisensoriales.

Reflexión a partir del libro Teoría de la imagen, José M. Casasús. Editorial Salvat.

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