The Sense of Order
Gombrich's The Sense of order inquiry over the nature of ornament and the history of decorative art, explores the relation between culture, arts and cognitive psychology, particularly Gestalt theory.
Gestalt, says Gombrich, has been the first perception theory to systematically oppose the ‘theory of the recipient’; the theory that posits that our mind starts like a “tabula rasa”, progressively carved over time by the passive recording of stimuli. Gestalt denies the possibility of an ‘innocent eye’. Our mind, our vision, are systematically alert of the contrast between order and disorder, monotony and variety, the unforeseeable and the ‘redundant’.
Perception of order is the underlying process which is at the root of the entire artistic experience.
Much of what surrounds us offers a constant solution of continuity, and in Gombrich sense, it’s far from being beautiful, it does not respect a good decorative scheme.
Unless we choose to look otherwise and start noticing.
Paying attention to detail, moving closer to things allows sometimes to detect unsuspected patterns and intriguing which invite the eye to travel around a meaningful shape or to observe, at a glance, some of nature's most perfect examples of visual symmetries and rhythms.
This photographic project, inspired first, by the discovery of the work of Ernst Haas (The Creation, 1971) and then of Alfred Stieglitz (Equivalents, 1925-1934) and Minor White (72 N. Union Street, Rochester, New York,1960), tries to locate the almost invisible line which separated fuzziness from artful decoration, nature from culture, boredom or confusion from delectation (or distaste).
“The most fundamental aspect of the aesthetic experience”, says Gombrich, “is that pleasure is located somewhere between boredom and confusion”.
Author: Andrea RICCI is Italian, but lives and works in Brussels. After graduating in Political Science, he spent the early 90's as a contributor to La Repubblica; then moved to Belgium to get an MA in Bruges (College of Europe), and to progressively integrate the international community of diplomats, crisis managers and risk analysts active in Brussels. He has a PhD in Communication and Information Sciences and has written and taught on early warning and crisis response.
Expression of a family culture which revolved around Politics and Art, raised between Rome, Pisa and Florence, Andrea in 2002 decided to devote himself to study - with a camera - his working environment and the major international crises he could witness. A participant observer when working on photojournalism projects, Andrea has a keen interest in documentary photography, and his photographic practice develops in parallel to his research and art history studies.