This is of no terribly deep significance. It’s just two photographs of a sculpture from different perspectives. And let me assure you this isn’t a trick used by manipulating the camera, the difference in perspective is also true when you are standing there looking. The effect is also intentional. The sculptor set it up so that it looks at first like the fox is chasing the rabbit. That is the view you get entering the garden. Later, when you have done the tour and you are on your way out, you see the second perspective and realize that they are really in it together.
I bring this up for two reasons. First because it is possible to have language go on holiday here and imagine that the sculpture is making a deep moral point when it’s really just a cute trick.
We could do this because we talk about moral perspective too and we could go on to say, it all depends on where you stand when you look at the problem. And suddenly a contrived illusion begins to look like it’s making a deep point.
There was a deceptive advertisement (deceptive in several senses of the word) for the Guardian back in the 1980s that used this dishonest trick. It showed a skinhead running towards a little old lady. We all assumed the worst until the last moment when the perspective changed to show us that the skinhead was pushing the little old lady out of the way of an oncoming vehicle. Very cute but does that somehow make the skinhead movement with its overt racism okay? (And this isn’t an ad hominem slur 1980s skinheads were proudly racist and violent. Which raises a troubling question: Why did the Guardian think it was okay to use a series of visual tricks to deliberately misrepresent what this movement was about?)
This, of course, also comes back to the question of moral argument and teaching. Is it really okay to say, this is one way of seeing the issue but you may decide on another? I don’t think so.
The second reason is to advertize the Kingsbrae Garden in Saint Andrews where I was yesterday afternoon. These are lovely gardens and well worth the $12 admission I paid.