The term ‘materiality of perception’ defines the human ability to understand the reality of things and their spatial situation. The materiality of perception is determined by two closely associated perceptual aspects: projection, or the objectivation of images, and the identification of perceived impressions with the properties of an object. Under certain circumstances, normal perception may be disturbed.
In the exhibition, the nature of things is revisited: with the disappearance of crafts that had led to their creation, or the emergence of mechanical and electronic tool substitutes, these things are again just shapes and objects that often no longer evoke any memory of their purpose in the viewer’s imagination.
“Perception is never a mere contact of the mind with the object present; it is impregnated with memory-images which complete it as they interpret it.” (Henri Bergson, Matter and Memory)
“Imagination’s constant and peculiar relation to the world itself is precisely why we often cannot tell exactly where the action field of imagination begins and where it ends.” (Kristupas Sabolius, The Imaginary)
It could be compared to the experience of wandering in abandoned places, when the anxiety of leaving the comfort zone distorts the image of reality. Seeing the shapes of things that have long since lost their purpose, accompanied with barely recognizable sounds rising from the environment, opens up a different kind of perception of phenomena in an anxiously obsessed imagination. The researchers of fear trace many ancient mystical creatures to the similar sensations. Modern human beings, despite the rational world-view, never got rid of this feeling of disquiet; finding ourselves in abandoned spaces we feel like entering the forest of a bygone time full of ghosts of the past.
“Visual phantoms encountered at our each step impose their will upon us, thus we act, according to William J. Thomas Mitchell, as if images were alive, as if they had a power to influence us, demanding things from us, deciding the models of our behaviour. That is why we may agree with Mitchell that “magical attitudes toward images are just as powerful in the modern world as they were in so-called ages of faith.” (Kristupas Sabolius, The Imaginary)
The Pathfinder - main character of the exhibition - is as invisible as images born of anxiety. His primary skill is to collect snippets of information and various artifacts in order to identify, uncover, and create new ghosts of anxiety.