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Anarchitecture: Deconstruction and the Art of Observation

Visual artist Olivier Ratsi‘s project Anarchitecture rebels against conventional relationships between the artist, the artwork, and the observer. He acknowledges the observer effect which suggests that elements in our physical world are not stagnant once construction is complete – every observation is a relative interpretation that momentarily transforms the piece, regardless of what the architect or artist intended.

In his pieces, Ratsi fragments buildings and architectural landscapes inside the frames of photographs. He wants to avoid a decorative appearance and instead challenge the observer to reconstruct the pieces, filling in the voids and following the lines via their own translations.

With inspiration moving from impressionists to physicists, Ratsi touches on the idea of a malleable perception of reality. He realized even as a child that the way we perceive things depends on our inner world: our history, our beliefs, our knowledge, our personality. If there does exist an object reality, our relative eyes all see it differently. In addition, our tangible world is still filtered through our senses before each insight mingles to form a conclusion. Ratsi even plays with mobile perception in everyday life. For instance, let your eyes drift beyond the rushing water in a waterfall and you’ll observe its relentless rushing. But fix your eyes on a specific splash of water as it falls and it begins to feel like the earth is moving, not the water.

Ratsi overarching project What You See is *not* What You Get blurs perception to trigger an emotional response. He doesn’t insist on what the world really is; instead he uses photomanipulation to cut and shift architectural elements, urging us to question the references in our reality. What better tool to present this concept than the spaces we live and work in?

Keara Wright

Aspiring creative author and astrophysicist, with degrees in Physics, Mathematics, and Psychology.

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