The Perception in Art


Curated by: Peter Pakesch, Katrin Bucher

The subject of the opening exhibition is the phenomenon of perception? Our knowledge about it and the conditions it is subject to. Everything begins with perception. Recent research suggests that cognitive processes and neural networks specifically determine and control our visual perceptions.


According to the British cerebral physiologist Semir Zeki, painting is a kind of applied science of cerebral functions. This suggests that the different art movements of the modern age have their counterparts in physiological and psychological phenomena, and that the brain does not process images in their entirety, but breaks them up into different aspects. On the other hand, the American art historian Jonathan Crary shows us that technological developments change our perceptions, influencing the art of the modern age. The exhibition presents examples of contemporary art which deal with these questions.


At the opening, the 'Tuning in', as an overture to the exhibition, the whole building will be handed over to sound. At the main event, the ‘Immagination’we will be immersed in a sea of installations, photographs, paintings and sculptures dealing with our perceptions as their subject, as sight and sound interweave with other sensory perceptions.


Marc Adrian (A), Mario Ballocco (I), Darren Almond (GB), Alberto Biasi (I), Angela Bulloch (CDN), Anthony Caro (GB), Chuck Close (USA), Gianni Colombo (I), Jan Dibbets (NL), Olafur Eliasson (IS), Heinz Gappmayr (A), Taft Green (USA), Robert Irwin (USA), Elsworth Kelly (USA), Rachel Khedoori (USA), Liz Larner (USA), Richard Kriesche (A), Sarah Morris (USA), Ernesto Neto (BR), Max Neuhaus (USA), Matthew Ngui (SP), Helga Phillip (A), Qiu Shihua (CHN), Markus Raetz (CH), Bridget Riley (GB), David Rokeby (CND), Alfons Schilling (A), Henryk Stazewski (PL), Michael Schuster (A), Esther Stocker (I), Manfred Willmann (A), Rémy Zaugg (CH)...


Exhibition Catalouge




Thu, 18.12.2003: 
Ambiguity in Art and in the Brain

Lecture by Prof. Dr. Semir Zeki, 
supporting Programm for the Exhibition Einbildung - Perception in Art. Space04, 19:00h
Semir Zeki is Professor of Neurobiology in the University of London (University College London) and co-head of the Wellcome Department of Cognitive Neurology. He studied medicine and anatomy at University College London. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, London and he is a foreign Member of the American Philosophical Society, a Member of the Academia Europaea, and the European Academy of Sciences and Arts.
One of the primordial functions of the brain is the acquisition of knowledge. The apparatus that it has evolved to do so is flexible enough to allow it to acquire knowledge about unambiguous conditions on the one hand (colour vision being a good example), and about situations that are capable of two or more interpretations, each one of which has equal validity with the others. However, in the latter instance, we can only be conscious of one interpretation at any given moment. The study of ambiguity thus gives us some insights into how activity at different stations of the brain can result in a micro-consciousness for an attribute, and also tell us something about interactions between different cerebral areas that result in several potential micro-conscious correlates, though only one predominates at any given time.
Finally, the study of ambiguity also gives us insights into the neurological machinery that artists have tapped to create the ambiguity that is commonly a hallmark of great works of art.


Architectures of Vision

In the context of the exhibition Einbildung - Perception in Art Kunsthaus Graz organizes a symposium which is going to elaborate theoretical aspects of the exhibition.
Fry., January 09, 2004
18.00h Peter Pakesch: Perceptual Art - Artistic Perception, Introductory Word
18.30h Richard Gregory: Illusions As Secret Artifacts
Sat., January 10, 2004, a.m.
09:00h Georges Teyssot: The Phantasmagoria of Things and the Inner Vision of Architecture
10:00h Taft Green: Speeds of Interpretation: Models of Desire
10:45h Ilona Kovacs: Capturing Time: From E. J. Marey to Modern Neuroscience
11:45h David Rokeby: (mis)Representing Seeing
12:15h Panel Discussion, chaired by Csaba Pleh
Sat., January 10, 2004, p.m. 
14.15h Peter Weibel: Theories of Vision in 20th Century Austria. From Stereoscopy to Cyberspace
15.15h Esther Stocker: Vague exact forms
15.45h Mark A. Cheetham: Perception, in the Abstract
17.00h Nicholas Wade: Space and Motion in Science and Art
18.00h Panel Discussion chaired by Gabor Zemplen
Sun., January 11, 2004
11.00h Closing Panel Discussion chaired by Martin Prinzhorn
15.00h Werner Nekes: Beetween the images - Looking and the mind of Man
15.30h Screening of Werner Nekes films: Vieltausendschau (55 min. Film), Ulilsses 90 Min. Film



Unterstützt von 
A1, Zumtobel Staff

Kunsthaus Graz

Lendkai 1
8020 Graz, Österreich
T +43-316/8017-9200


Opening Hours

Tue-Sun, public holidays 10am - 6pm

Guided Tours
Please visit our calendar.
Guided tours on advance notice

Mon-Thurs 9am-12pm
Fri, Sat 9am-2am
Sun 9am - 8pm
T: +43-316/714 957


10th April 2023
1st May 2023
29th May 2023

21st February 2023
24th/25th December 2023