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by Gabriel Sierra
We are almost constantly surrounded by architecture, but we barely perceive it. Yet it has a major impact on our thought and actions – sometimes obviously, but usually unconsciously. The Colombian artist Gabriel Sierra is interested in precisely this psychological dimension of architecture. He aims to create an experiment that explores the intricate relation in between reality and perception. After all, built spaces are repositories for ideas, fears, and convictions; they are full of ambitions, traces, and future experiences, and possess multiple layers of time. Hardly any other experience demonstrates this as strikingly as déjà-vu, when we witness a moment as if it had already occurred. During a moment of déjà-vu, the present is transported backward in time; in it, the past, the future, and the present merge into a magical second that is both euphoric and unsettling.
This publication has been published on the occasion of Sierra’s exhibition, Before Present, at Kunsthalle Zürich, that is dedicated to this unfathomable and uncanny Before Present.