The eye can only either 'see' or 'look at' someone, at least in the intersubjective experience. The constant possibility of being 'looked at', the recognition of the self in the eyes of another, is a constituent part of our sociality.
And yet, the other’s gaze blinds our own in the moment they meet: when we find ourselves being ‘looked at’, we no longer ‘see’ the eyes that look upon us, but rather the gaze of the other person in itself. A photograph, on the other hand, enables us to observe someone without having our gaze returned. Photography has thus reinforced our voyeuristic view of the world – making it seem more available to us than it really is, for spatial and temporal distances dissolve in the paradoxical simultaneity of absence and presence of the photographed object.
Based on the notion that our gaze is a social and cultural category and part of the representational system of language, ‘Objekt;Performanz’ explores normative and gender-specific implications of ‘seeing’ and ‘being seen’ through the lens of a camera, while trying to confuse the rules and limits of the medium itself. Ultimately, the work thus aims to question the seemingly unceasing union of ‘woman’ and ‘picture’, resulting from her position as ‘the other’ to the principally male subject and her assigned function as an ‘image’.
See a short videoclip of the exhibition here: Object; Performance