Tuesday: 12:00 – 17:00
Sat & Holidays: 10:00-14:00
Sundays: Groups only
“My storehouse burnt down
There is nothing to obstruct
the moon view”
In this exhibition, we should not trust our eyes. The human desire to hold on to an illusion is at least as ancient as the history of the art responding to it. However, the disillusionment from the deceptiveness of the image also holds an important role. The double gaze embodied in the works presented here offers both enchantment and its dissipation.
The illusory and changing nature of reality is known in Sanskrit as Maya – Doubting and observing it is a fundamental concept in the Buddhist tradition. This notion, which originated in Hinduism, invites us to look at what is really in front of us and let go of imaginary objects of desire. This is the freedom necessary in order to see the true nature of reality. We are captivated by sights, perceptions, and conditional impressions: The manifestations of reality come and go, constantly changing. Views, sounds, smells as well as emotions, thoughts, and ideas.
Buddhism looks at purportedly contradictory concepts and dispels the great importance we tend to attach to certain perceptions or principles over others. Doubt and questioning – even of the Buddhist teaching itself – have characterized it since its inception. In one of his sermons, the Buddha told the listeners that they must not accept his words on blind faith, but rather try and decide for themselves whether the path he offers is right or wrong.
The Buddhist perception invites us to look beyond illusion. To most of us, it seems that everything has a distinct form and a permanent and separate existence in itself, but in fact everything that exists is interconnected as one whole – a reciprocal existence that pulsates together. In reality, it is impossible to separate us from the world, sight from what is perceived in our gaze, recorded in our consciousness, and shapes our perception of reality.
The exhibition A Shadow of Doubt extends an invitation to linger in the space between illusion and reality; in the gap between seeing and knowing. In the face of the need to trust our eyes, there is the knowledge that things perhaps are not necessarily as they appear. If we pay attention to how our perception is formed, we may be able to free ourselves from its grasp, let go of concepts that try to define reality and meet it anew every moment as it is revealed to us in an attentive presence.