This performance at TED Global 2014 is beautiful for itself, but also raised an interesting question of perception. If you want to see if you experience the same effect, I suggest watching the video before reading below the (electronic) fold.
Viewed as a piece of art, there is both emotion and technical skill.
However, as a (sub-clinical) bibliophile, the idea of damaging books makes me feel slightly uncomfortable. Therefore – while I suspect the swirling pages were made for the occasion – I would have usually found the imagery of that section mildly uncomfortable.
But, I knew in advance that Aakash Odedra (both choreographer and dancer of the piece) is dyslexic. So – rather than seeing torn pages blowing in the wind – my perception was of a metaphor for words twisting and escaping the reader.
This awareness that I was experiencing more of the artist’s paradigm and less of my own because I knew what the artist was aiming for reinforced my belief that the artist is never fully present in their work: if they were, then I would experience the same work with or without prior commentary.
If you didn’t know before watching, did discovering Odedra is dyslexic change your perception of the piece? Do you feel knowing the intent in advance alters your experience?