My name is Anna, I am a visual artist working with photography. Layers of Reality is a project about perception. I am fascinated by the definition of reality, by the ease with which people accept everything around them as a given and static construct and how little people seem to reflect on the contrasting realities that different personalities experience.
Layers of Reality explores synaesthesia, a neurological phenomenon that merges sensory experiences. People with synaesthesia taste for example sounds or see colours when they read letters or numbers. I am a synaesthete myself (I feel in colours) and started to wonder if I could be able to transmit my reality. Can I communicate an individual perception?
I started with putting down a series of questions that I asked myself – where do the colours come from, is it a constant phenomenon, which colours do appear, do they have a particular meaning….? I based my research on my own private photoarchive to see how I react to emotional impulses from my own photographs. I ended up organising this research in a book, because I thought the process of searching for possible ways to understand and transmit synaesthesia would be really interesting for someone else. Later on during the process, I felt a need to visualize how the phenomenon works for me, how I feel in colours myself. I did this through merging analogue pictures into big colourful images that I printed in a special way to give the surface an illusion of depth. Therefore I chose a paper with a certain structure and quality wich will be finished with a wax coating. Through that, I try to display something threedimensional – an emotion – in a twodimensional print.
In the WKNDK exhibition, I assembled these “visual approaches” to synaesthesia and invite the viewer to dive into the colourful world of synaesthesia. The book that I made serves as an introduction to the work and gives background information on psychology and neurology.
To give insight into the process, I displayed different steps the project has been taking with different items all along the window side:
You´ll find little snapshots from my archive that made me reflect on how colourful they “feel” inside of me, first attempts to put together a collection of these photographs, little dummies and sketches that slowly merge into a piece of work that tells a story. It is a very intimate exhibition because I feel I am not only talking about an interesting phenomenon but I am also showing the process that this project has been going through in the course of almost two years, and it is my most personal work up to now.
With my project Layers of Reality I want to show that reality is perceived individually.