Wander through a world of stories, written along the walls of a labyrinth turned inside out, to reveal its hidden layers of reality. City Inside Out, an exhibit by Haveit Neox, now at LEA20.
There was a sky somewhere above the tops of the buildings, with stars and a moon and all the things there are in a sky, but they were content to think of the distant street lights as planets and stars. If the lights prevented you from seeing the heavens, then perform a little magic and change reality to fit the need. The street lights were now planets and stars and moon. ”
― Hubert Selby Jr., Requiem for a Dream
Time is the substance I am made of. Time is a river which sweeps me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger which destroys me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire which consumes me, but I am the fire.
― Jorge Luis Borges, Labyrinths: Selected Stories and Other Writings
Sometimes that loss can never be compensated. Sometimes, it inspires a unique poetic vision. Eupalinos Ugajin presents perspectives of virtual creativity, where sights, sounds, space, and emotion intertwine. Moving Islands is a wonderland, in film, about a wonderland in space. A project by Eupalinos Ugajin.
One of the most simple, and effective optical illusions is the Duck-Rabbit.
As a metapicture, the duck-rabbit shifts between two images to the observer, but as the meaning flickers between duck and rabbit in our minds, it is always both, and neither. We are drawn into the picture, becoming a part of it lines, and are asked to choose. Of course, the metapicture knows we will never make up our minds, smiling as it holds on to our attention, until we finally look away.
Recently a new picture has been playing this game, capturing the attention, amusement, and irritation, of eyes glaring at screens all over the globe. Yes, the dress.
While it can be explained by logic, the illusion of the dress became an internet phenomenon because it caused confusion, and provoked questions about images in general, and how we perceive them. It also happened to sprout a fresh bunch of internet memes (interesting work on memes here and here):
The vast desert landscape of Kin Dza Dza! (1986) perfectly symbolizes what this film offers; a minimalistic presentation with a complexity of layers hidden beneath the surface. Absurdity, melancholy, and thoughtful symbolism come together in this unique work. Watch with English subtitles on Youtube:
W.J.T. Mitchell explores how images provoke their own self-analysis, creating a dialogue within the image itself. He calls this unique type of image “metapictures.” Metapictures refer to their own making, they are self-reflective as they attempt to understand themselves.
“Pictures reveal and know themselves, where they reflect on the intersections of visuality, language, and similitude, where they engage in speculation on their nature and history” -W.J.T Mitchell
Self-reflexivity thrives through self-nesting recursive structures, commonly related to “russian dolls,” where one element is nested within another layer of its same form. In other cases, to be self-reflexive is to draw in the viewer to question the structure of the image. In effect, our experiences as viewers often become an extension of that structure. Metapictures elicit a double vision between language and visual experience; they interrogate the authority of language over image. In René Magritte’s The Treachery of Images, the relationship between the visual and the verbal is inseparable; without acknowledging the visible element of the picture the text itself also disappears with it, denying it the ability to negate the image in the first place. The beauty of a metapicture is its unfaltering curiosity and playfulness towards perception.
“If I had written ‘this is a pipe’ under my picture, I would have been lying!”