Perception, that delicate act of interaction between mind and external world, forms the foundation of our human experience. It is not merely a passive reception of sensory data, but an active process of interpretation and construction of meaning. In the artistic context, this dynamic becomes even more complex, involving multiple levels of meaning, memory, and culture.

Consider, for example, the photograph of a sculpture: it does not simply reproduce a three-dimensional object on a two-dimensional plane but constructs a new narrative reality (even in its condition as a derivative). Photography, with its power to freeze time and select specific perspectives, becomes an active intermediary in the dialogue between the viewer and the artwork. This introduces an interesting tension between the original and its photographic representation, where each shot is an interpretation, a choice of truth among many possibilities.

In its derived nature, perception is constantly prompted to fill the gaps between what is seen and what is imagined. This type of perception requires our brain to reconstruct a complete sensory experience from partial clues (interpolation), creating a reality that is both real and ideal.

The interaction between image and perception becomes even more complicated in the context of digitization and artificial intelligence. AI-generated images, based on data and algorithms, raise fundamental questions about authenticity and representation. Although they can recreate visions of exhibitions that have long since disappeared, these images are inherently subjective, influenced by input data and algorithmic assumptions. This leads us to reflect on how technology is altering our way of perceiving and remembering art.

Another crucial aspect at this point concerns the photographs of artistic events, the famous “installation views” that are not mere recordings, but acts of narration that build a story which can be idealized or distorted compared to the “real data.” Each photograph interprets and, therefore, invents a truth, choosing what to show and what to hide, influencing our understanding of history and memory.

The documentation of an exhibition, which includes photographs, videos, descriptive texts, and catalogs, forms the basis for any future historical analysis. Without accurate documentation, exhibitions risk being forgotten or misunderstood. Each documentary element is an interpretative act that conveys not only the physical aspect of the exhibited works but also the curatorial context, artistic intentions, and public reactions.