The Deception of Perception: Exploring Distortion and Ambiguity in Photography

Exhibition Website

Nov 15 2016 - Mar 5 2017

One of the preconceptions humans have when viewing a work of art, particularly photography, is the notion of a concrete reality; the idea that a camera does not lie and a picture is a freeze-frame of an actual moment in life. In this exhibition, artists exploit this perception by creating enigmatic and/or dreamlike images that blur the boundaries between fact and fiction.

[....] Artists have the freedom to create works whose mysterious imagery evokes the paranormal and fantastical. They manipulate scale, color, perspective, and subject to transport the viewer outside of the real world and into the realm of imagination. [....]

Only through touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound are we able to draw accurate conclusions about the reality around us. Nevertheless, we all tend to draw subjective conclusions when presented with an ambiguous image. Throughout the exhibition, viewers can experience their own personal perceptions. [....]

As you enter into the worlds of mystery presented in these images, consider both sides of the lens: What is the artist’s intent? What do you see? [....]

All things are subject to interpretation. Whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.”― Friedrich Nietzsche

In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality. — Alfred Stieglitz

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.

  • Photography
  • Contemporary
  • David Wojnarowicz
  • Leland Rice
  • Francesca Woodman
  • Gregory Crewdson
  • Jerry Uelsmann
  • and others

Exhibition Venues & Dates