“Pluralistic Ignorance”

aka “Presence in the form of Absence” aka “The perception Paradox”

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Authorship: Gabriel Lester

Collaboration: Victor Sardenberg and Isabella Previti

Departing from Gustav Palm’s 1893 patented mirror maze, endlessly reflecting itself, the space it installed in, and the content it bears, needed to be disjointed. The maze reflects endlessly, the subject or object itself could never be aware. And this is how the giraffe came to exist in both its own world and that of an infinite reflection it itself has no awareness of. This “paradox of perception” is an age-old philosophical problem to mankind, where the mind struggles to grasp reality, but in practical terms can only generate various concepts and theories of what reality could possibly be. Ultimately, the mirror-maze installation “Pluralistic Ignorance” radiates an uncontrolled enthusiasm for what may initially seem an unlikely, implausible, and exclusive combination of elements and associations. The installation proposes its own kind of travesty, where unusual elements are joined – and endlessly re-joined in reflection. The term “Pluralistic Ignorance” stands for a situation in which a minority position is wrongly perceived as the majority position. One of the best-known examples of such a situation is Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” the story which two con artists convince the emperor that they make the finest clothes in all the land, that can only be seen by anyone who was not stupid.

Photos: Victor Sardenberg and Isabella Previti

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