Named after Alfred Hitchcock’s famous 1958 film, the exhibition is indeed looking to cause vertigo. The term is ambiguous, meaning both a physical phenomenon and a sensory deception. The camerawork in the film achieved the renowned ‘vertigo effect’, a technique that became cinematic history. In the film, it’s used in a key scene set on a spiral staircase leading up to a tower to invitingly draw the viewer’s gaze downwards in a dizzying spiral into the deep abyss. This sequence manages to keenly convey the physical reaction felt by the character, Scottie.
Op Art as an artistic movement became an early protagonist in the participatory art of the second half of the 20th century. It takes you out of your comfort zone and drags you into a dramatic and distorted reality. Presenting a broad spectrum ranging from panel paintings, reliefs, and objects to installations, spaces, film and computer-generated art, you'll find yourself vulnerable to deception and with confound senses, showing us that how we see things always depends on our point of view.
The first artist you'll come across even before entering Vertigo is Carlos Cruz-Diez. In Europe, Cruz-Diez’s name became synonymous in the 1960s with the exploration of colour’s kinetic potential. The French-Venezuelan artist welcomes you into the museum with a ‘promenade cromatique’ through the stairway to the Mumok entrance. The artist presents colour as an experience in itself, and by projecting it into space, he explores the sensory possibilities of its direct interaction with the viewer, who becomes a participant in a phenomenological event.