Critique Essay On Sherlockian Simulacra: Adaptation And The Postmodern Construction Of Reality


Jean Baudrillard was a French theorist between 1929- 2007. He was one of the leading scholarly intellectual personalities of the present age; his work merges of idiosyncratic cultural metaphysics, social, and philosophy theory, which reflects the significant era occurrences or events. He was a sharp critic of the modern culture, thought and society (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2007).  Also, he is viewed as a sage or guru of the French postmodern theory, even though he is read as a critic who mixes philosophy and social theory in proactive and original ways. Additionally, he is a prolific writer who has established his forms and styles of writing. Finally, he has published 30 books and commented on the significant relevant sociological and cultural occurrences of the modern era.


This type of essay portrays and presents an intense and condensed description of an argument concerning the symbol, object, and the sign. Its intention and purpose are to recommend how psychoanalytic thinking and reflection, such as the object-relation theory offers a solution or a way out of the standoff or stalemate in critical thinking (Abad, 2014). Conversely, the theory of reification is vital to critical thinking, as it is founded on the intellectualized reifications of what it means to be a subject rather than an object. Consequently, the essay reflects on the traditional theory of reification that outlines reification as a fascination development of pouring out the potential space


The Simulacrum

According to Jean Baudrillard, in Simulacra and Simulation, he argues that there have been such an infiltration or saturation signs and symbols in the culture of the United States. Also, he argues that the American culture has lost its original meaning, a process he calls “precession of simulacra, which happens in four phases (Polasek, 2012). Consequently in the essay Sherlockian Simulacra, Polack delineates the process of simulacra in the following way; representation as a process where the symbol accepts and understands the coexistence of the signifier and the sign. Secondly, he argues about the stimulation process, which argues that validity for the signifier of the sign.

The four phases of the process of simulacra

The Copy

Jean Baudrillard argues that artists implement techniques, which are the same as the reproductive method employed in the mass media. The original owners of the copyrighted images feel that the artistic fraud endangers their interests. Nonetheless, the artists of the 20th century use these methods to raise questions concerning the peculiarity between mass culture and art. Therefore, the mass-market imagery owners find a close similarity between the work of the artist and their copyrighted imagery (Polasek, 2012). For instance, in 2008, Shepherd Fairey produced a series of prints promoting the campaigns of President Obama, which is a sensationalized example.

The counterfeit

Baudrillard defines the second phase as the counterfeit, which is a pervasion of the reality. He describes it as an evil phase since it is fundamentally a phony sense of reality. Also, Baudrillard argues that this step is not vital as it is misleading to our contemporary culture, where there is a thin line between counterfeit and validity.

Absence of Reality

In the third phase, Baudrillard argues that the process conceals the profound reality, which means the version of every reality you view in the mass media is always fictional. For instance, he centers on the on the homeownership and argues that the unique textures, colors, and swatches of buildings are not a reality in the mind of home architectures and decors.


Stimulation is the last phase of the process of Simulacra, where the subject is not defined or quantified as real because the signifier and the anchor are not identified (Polasek, 2012). Consequently, there is confusing in this phase of what is perceived as genuine and fake.

Response and Conclusion of the Essay

In my argument, I can state that Baudrillard maintained a very cynical and pessimistic view of his theories of stimulation and hyper-reality. He provides no solution to the void of stimulation, which the contemporary society surrounded and enclosed. However, in the sphere of art, I suppose and consider that there is no reason to feel that the theory of stimulation is ominous or negative. We can argue that misappropriation or fraud has become one of the primarily used structures of stimulation in the post-contemporary artwork. Apparently, a lot of signs and symbols submerging and engulfing the world exclude art. For instance, the Dj’s are remixing signs and images come from the culture that grants them as new or altered context. Also, the pre-existing music tracks are looped, cut, pasted, remixed, and sampled by Dj’s in the same manner that the cultural symbols and icons are restructured and repurposed through the internet. Consequently, art gives weight and shape to the most hidden and invisible processes. It is very rational and logical for artists to resurface and re-merge these processes and functions, so as to give structure and shape to what is disappearing.

In conclusion, I disagree with the argument of Jean Baudrillard, as I consider him cynical, skeptical, and sarcastic because he does not provide a solution for the challenges that the modern society is experiencing.

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