the ability to see, hear or become aware of something through the senses (Oxford dictionary)
The act of observing what surrounds us happens every day in an automatic and immediate way, regardless of the spaces we are inserted in; whether in a museum, at home or walking the city streets. These observations allow us to assign meanings to situations and circumstances.
Based on this idea, what are the advantages of questioning our own processes of looking at art?
The current theme is perception, contextualized within the mechanisms of the human gaze. The exercise of observing a work of art can happen in countless ways, imposing different results upon the work itself and also on the observer.
Our ability to assign meaning to an artwork can develop more profoundly when we are aware of our own observational ways. What is the difference between attributing meanings versus genuine understanding?
There are images that work as a vehicle to make sense of situations and scenarios, and others that offer an automatic understanding of what was not previously 'digested' for our consumption. In this case, what would be the role of the observer in producing meanings for works of art?
Our perceptions also interfere in the production of our memories, fusing imagery information and creating new languages and meanings. Therefore, our imaginary fields are constantly changing. Is it possible to cultivate our own mechanism of looking to become deeper and more meaningful?
Over the next few weeks, we will propose contemplation exercises, investigate our relationship with the way we see artworks, and illustrate the theme by bringing in works by artists who dialogue with these questions.
Image: Marco Tirelli