Opening and book presentation Thursday 21 January, from 6 pm
The belief in the possibility of objective perception, of collecting reliable perceptual data, has long been abandoned. Man is no longer the centre of the world; his manipulated eyes are no longer the instruments of his power. Today, seeing truly is believing, but not in the sense of knowing: seeing has become a matter of pure belief. This does not mean simply that perception is challenged by its evil twin brother deception, by tricks of the eye: such an understanding would imply that perception is a threatened but still workable concept. Today, perception has become deception. The eye is a trick of the eye.
It is possible to stare at abstract patterns or forms for such a long time that images appear: a face in a piece of wood; an animal in a block of marble. This is perception in overdrive; the blind recognition of man craving for a knowable world. But the opposite is also possible: to focus so intently on objects, or images of objects, that their meaning blurs—that they are no longer recognisable as what they are (or what we think they are), but become mere abstract patterns. This is perception come to a stop; the visionary blindness of the man of forms—of the artist perhaps.