09.06.2022 - 30.07.2022
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Labirent Sanat presents the “Pareidolia” exhibition, which includes the latest works of Ayşe Kapusuz, Bahadır Yıldız, Gülfem Kessler, Mali Çakır, Şinasi Göktürkler, Tuna Üner and Yakup Uysal, between 9 June – 30 July.
Sometimes we see a cloud that's dragonish;
A vapor sometime like a bear or lion,
A towered citadel, a pendent rock,
A forked mountain, or blue promontory
With trees upon't that nod unto the world,
And mock our eyes with air. 1
Shakespeare, “Antony and Cleopatra”
Our perception of the world is not only determined by the input to our senses, it is also strongly nourished by our previous experiences of the world. Sometimes, through an unconscious inference process, our mind interprets the fragmented and incomplete visual signals of a spilled wall, a tree trunk, mountain or rock formations, clouds, cobblestones, ink stains, or spilled coffee as a familiar image. The psychological equivalent of this situation, which is a kind of illusion that most of us have experienced once or often at some point in our lives, is Pareidolia. Facial pareidolia is the imaginary perception of absent faces. Seeing a face in a cloud, a coffee froth, or a block of rock are examples of facial pareidolia. Due to the social importance of faces and the ability of humans to process them, it is the most well-known and most recognized of the forms of pareidolia.
As soon as the infant can see, it recognizes faces, and we know now that this skill is hardwired in our brains. Those infants who a million years ago were unable to recognize a face smiled back less, were less likely to win the hearts of their parents, and less likely to prosper. These days, nearly every infant is quick to identify a human face and to respond with a goony grin.
We can deduce from this determination of Carl Sagan that the development of the shape selection mechanism in our brain in the evolutionary process increases our probability of survival. Just as thousands of years ago, the probability of a creature looking for food in nature thinking that the source of the sound coming from the grass was caused by the wind, not a predator hid to hunt, decreased, and the probability of survival increased in parallel. In such uncertain conditions, "seeing" an animal when it's not there or confusing a rock with a bear are cognitive adaptations that promote survival.
Representing the earliest examples of a human visual culture long before writing appeared, paleolithic cave paintings provide a hazy glimpse into a prehistoric world where signs were used to convey meaning. Scientists think that knowing what inspired our ancestors in making cave paintings gives us clues (albeit limited) about the human impulse to express ourselves creatively. It's likely that the dangerous, mysterious, dark, and thought-provoking places in their caves have contributed to our evolutionary tendency to attach meaning to natural things, such as our minds finding faces in the clouds. As a matter of fact, a hunter in a cave completes the imaginary images he sees in the textures, folds, or stalactites on the wall surface with tools he finds in the conditions of the day. A typical example of this can be seen in the Chauvet Cave, where two giant deer (Megaloceros) are depicted with lines on the cave wall to complete the animal outlines, using natural wall cracks.
Do not despise my opinion when I remind you that it should not be hard for you to stop sometimes and look into the stains on walls, or the ashes of a fire, or clouds, or mud, or like things, in which, if you consider them well, you will find really marvelous ideas. The mind of the painter is stimulated by new discoveries, the composition of battles of animals and men, various compositions of landscapes and monstrous things, and similar creations, which may bring you honor because the mind is stimulated to new inventions by obscure things.
In these lines in his notebook where he takes notes on painting, Leonardo da Vinci advises artists to use pareidolia as a method to open the mind and direct it to different inventions. This message from Leonardo encourages the awakening of the artist's imagination and innate talents, enabling them to explore new ways of perceiving the world.
The exhibition is inspired by the phenomenon of pareidolia, which many fields benefit from, from Paleolithic cave paintings to ancient art, sky research in science, the Rorschach test in psychology to evaluate the personality of the individual, from Renaissance painting and literature to modern art, face recognition technology and artificial intelligence researches used today.
In the Pareidolia exhibition, you can see the works of Ayşe Kapusuz, Bahadır Yıldız, Gülfem Kessler, Mali Çakır, Şinasi Göktürkler, Tuna Üner and Yakup Uysal, in which pareidolia is used in different contexts in the creative process, at Labirent Sanat until 30 July.