Derek Sayer
Department of Sociology,
University of Alberta, Canada.



A well known painting by Rene Magritte called The Human Condition depicts a painting of a view that stands in front of the view it portrays. The question is: how do we know that behind the painting is what it obscures? Ceci n'est pas une pipe.

Crossing the Brynderwyns into Northland last November, I was delighted to find Magritte's conundrum writ large on the New Zealand landscape.