Perception Figures

Ebbe Stub Wittrup (DK, 1973)
Perception figures takes its point of departure in 15 drawings by the Danish perception researcher Edgar Rubin, from his dissertation Synsoplevede figurer (Visually perceived figures), a phenomenological description of human visual perception and the distinction between representation and abstraction, figure and ground. The drawings are abstract black-and-white figures, preliminary studies for his later, best known figure: Rubin’s Vase.

Ebbe Stub Wittrup’s photo work consists of 12 photographs which show a number of 3-dimensional objects in plaster. The objects have been created in a stucco-making process where the plaster has been drawn out through 2-dimensional optical moulds based on Edgar Rubin’s original drawings. Stub Wittrup has then photographed the sculptural objects and reversed them back to their original 2-dimensional plane. By making the figures undergo a series of transformations in this way, Stub Wittrup explores how with each trans¬formation new meanings arise among surface, spatiality and physicality.

With Perception Figures Stub Wittrup involves elements from perception research and thematizes our awareness of reality, partly as a phenomenological and scientific project, partly as a constantly active project for the viewer in the encounter with the work. As with the photograph, which creates the illusion of space on the surface, our sensory apparatus cannot help projecting new spatialities into the figures. With subtle devices we are reminded of the often ambivalent relationship between physicality and representation in our everyday interaction with objects and surroundings. Thus Ebbe Stub Wittrup continues his investigation of the significance of sensory perception and illusion for our experience of reality.