The Meta-Perception Club

Art, Textiles
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The Meta-Perception Club
© Hammerhead Helmet in Paris 2014

If you’ve ever wondered what it might be like to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, you’ll likely jump at the chance of going for a wander wearing one of the animal helmets currently on display at the Centre Culturel Irlandais.  

Artists in residence Anne Cleary and Dennis Connolly have designed a series of striking helmets handcrafted out of aluminium by Neil McKenzie: lift one on and get a taste of an animal’s visual experience, from the hammerhead shark’s hyper-stereo vision to the horse’s wide peripheral one, the giraffe’s elevated eyes or the chameleon’s rotatable ones.

By studying the optics of a range of animals and devising a system of mirrors and adapted glass lenses to mimic them, the artists highlight how the same environment can be experienced in a number of radically different ways depending on who's looking. Challenging laws of perception and preconceived notions of reality, the artists have even crafted a fictional helmet: 'Alice in Wonderland' fans, get behind the eyes of the mischievous Cheshire Cat.

Friendly artists Cleary and Connolly place focus on interactivity in art and are holding sessions with visitors (available on reservation) to talk through the elaboration of the helmets and invite you to take a walk around the beautiful grounds of the CCI while wearing one. So forget binocular vision for a few hours – this fun, clever and elaborate project is well worth your time.

By appointment only. Visit www.centreculturelirlandais.com for more information about The Meta-Perception Club and the series of events happening around the exhibition.  

By: Maria Hagan

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Jasmine K

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This was an amazing exhibit. The artist was there to walk you through the usage of each helmet. The point of view is a once in a life time experience. I highly suggest trying on the Cheshire Cat, the disappearing effect will leave you breathless. Take a friend because the helmets are heavy, and you will want pictures!