Do we see the world as it really is? Does vision truly operate as we experience it, like a camera photographing a sequence of objective actions? And does the eye reflect the world in a direct
and transparent manner?
In the well-known story The Emperor's New Clothes, the emperor marches before his entire people without anyone commenting on his absence of clothes, until a small child declares that he is, in
fact, naked. The viewers were imprisoned by their blindness, as is every person observing the world. Vision itself has not, of course, changed in the course of human history. Yet its meaning - which depends on changing cultural contexts rather than on physiology - has been transformed.
Different cultural contexts guide us throughout this exhibition, which examines eyeglasses and vision from a human point of view. Like many material objects, eyeglasses have a rich biography; yet more than historical facts, this biography reflects systems of communication, layers of memory, and cultural and economic changes. The history of eyeglasses is a history of culture.
Curator: Maya Dvash
Associate Curator: Hadar Gorelik