Voskhod Gallery in Basel, Switzerland, is set to host an extraordinary exhibition titled “Refraction: Are your eyes soaking?” featuring the captivating works of Matiush First.
As an artist and visual thinker, First delves into the depths of visual perception, investigating how it intertwines with technology and culture. This article unveils the profound concepts behind First’s installation and invites you to immerse yourself in a world of refraction and exploration.
Unveiling the Phenomenon of Refraction
Inspired by her residency at Atelier Mondial, Basel, supported by Pro Helvetia in 2022, First conceived the idea for her project. “Refraction” revolves around the captivating phenomenon of refraction, which occurs when a wave, be it light or sound, passes through a medium with a different refractive index or speed, causing it to bend. It is within this concept that First seeks to unravel the profound implications of visual perception in the modern era.
A Physical Encounter with Digital Aesthetics
To counter the absorption of our senses into the digital realm, Matiush First employs analogue instruments, notably drawing on paper, to recreate digital images. By doing so, the artist strives to revive the physical and embodied experience of seeing.
In an age where the virtual often overshadows the tangible, First’s work prompts us to reestablish a haptic gaze, wherein the act of observing merges with the object itself rather than aiming to isolate or dominate it. This immersive approach enables us to explore new realms of intimacy and proximity within the artwork.
Zooming In: The Journey Within the Image
Upon approaching the Voskhod Gallery vitrine, our eyes are drawn to the sleek and smooth surface that envelops us. A closer look reveals a zoomed-in gaze, granting us access to a visual world that demands exploration and introspection. As we venture deeper into a digital image, we encounter fragments, pixels, particles, and the distortions inherent in refractions.
It is this amalgamation of elements that coalesce to form the entirety of the image before us. However, First’s artistic vision also masterfully deceives us. Just as we immerse ourselves in this intricate path, we find ourselves abruptly transported to the surrounding space, where Basel’s refracted images dissolve, dilute, and lose their distinctness within the fluidity of the environment.
An Interplay of Information and Perception
The strategic placement of the gallery vitrine within a bustling environment, shared by the post office and train station, adds a layer of complexity to the exhibition. Positioned within the constant ebb and flow of information and people, the installation mirrors the perpetual movement of water through the pipes of a city and the flow of data through digital networks.
In essence, it connects us to a larger system of information, reminiscent of the rhizomatic structure that underpins our navigation of data. However, when unexpected twists disrupt the flow of data, the image presented by First begins to disintegrate, leaving behind fragmented elements that fill the gaps in its composition.
Curated with Precision and Supported by LAF
The exhibition “Refraction: Are your eyes soaking?” has been expertly curated by Yulia Fisch, a prominent curator and cultural worker. Fisch’s keen eye for detail and her understanding of Matiush First’s artistic vision has played a pivotal role in presenting this captivating exhibition to the public. Additionally, the Limonov Art Foundation (LAF) has provided generous support in the preparation of this event, enabling the seamless realization of First’s creative exploration.
Matiush First’s “Refraction: Are your eyes soaking?” exhibition is poised to captivate visitors with its profound exploration of visual perception in the context of technology and culture.
By delving into the concept of refraction, First challenges us to rediscover the physicality of seeing in an increasingly digital world. As we immerse ourselves in the intricate details of her work, we traverse a visual landscape that pushes the boundaries of our understanding. So, mark your calendars and prepare to embark on a journey of enlightenment and artistic discovery at Voskhod Gallery, Basel, Switzerland.