An Arrangement (Stripes Case Study)
Illusions come in many forms, but can be difficult to classify because the underlying mechanisms are often not clear. Described as ambiguities, distortions, paradoxes, and fictions, these deceptive perceptions are caused when the information gathered by the eye does not match the image processed by the brain, resulting in a mismatch between what we perceive and what is actually there. In the Stripes Case Studies, Adad Hannah works with a model sitting atop a plinth covered in black and white striped material, the same material used as the backdrop and as the model’s costume (stripes were a staple in Hannah’s childhood as he grew up with parents who were part of an experimental performance group, touring Europe in the 1970s with Hannah and his younger sister). The figure in the image is holding a collection of citrus fruits – some cut open to reveal their colourful flesh, others left unpeeled, nestled in body grooves or balanced on the soles of feet. Through camouflage, optical illusion and the use of props as punctuation, Hannah is able to control how the body is concealed and revealed, drawing attention to how we perceive illusory movement and how perception changes as we move around an artwork.