Visualities

A few examples of my installation work in the 90's, where I explored relations between the human experience and the experience of technology, with a special interest on gender issues related to the psychodynamics of vision.

  • Suite Nothings
  • Suite Nothings
  • Suite Nothings
  • Suite Nothings

SUITE NOTHINGS (1994)
Brindabilla Gallery, Canberra, Australia
slide dissolve projections on curtain, playing card projection on ashes,  + computer interactive piece
Curtains ‘catch’ the projections of bedroom imagery; notions of privacy and intimacy are turned inside out. In the interplay of the elements of the installation the bed images produce a strange weightlessness, an “in-between”, exhibiting a pompous void which metaphorically offers the possibility of protection and warmth.

The computer’s interior space has a number of analogies with the architectural space of a building. In the context of the installation notions of privacy and intimacy (security software is becoming more and more an issue in public space contexts…) and the computer’s inherent characteristics of classification, storage, compartmentalization, collecting are synthesized in the ‘collection’ of movies that appear while the viewer is interacting with the individual ‘virtual’ rooms.
The image projected onto the white ashes of the fireplace shows a playing card with a Boucher nude. A very private situation was transformed into a public arena by being distilled into a painting to be shown publicly in a museum, which in turn was brought one step further by its appropriation and conversion into a deck of playing cards…

  • Torinus Parallax
  • Torinus Parallax
  • Torinus Parallax
  • Torinus Parallax

PARALLAX (1993)
Melbourne Sculpture Triennial, Australia

Parallax reaches back to a technology that was introduced in the height of the Victorian era that remained a popular parlor attraction for a long time: 3D viewing. Central to the piece is the fascination where memory resides: the unconscious, from which images emerge as visualized moments, traces of perception within our drifting in and out of distinguishable moments and versions of the past.

The tower’s (exhibition space’s) romantic, neo-gothic architecture evokes memories of childhood fairytales like Rapunzel or Sleeping Beauty as well as of the notion of the artist in the Ivory Tower. The title of the piece refers to the science of vision and visuality and functions here as subtext to the plot.

KRASNA ZONA (1992)
Institute of Art, Moscow

A site specific installation as a direct response to the ruins of the “masters” of Moscow. Once standing erect on pedestals throughout the city, the statues of The Great Masters (all men) — philosophers, political theorists, pragmatic politicians — now stand broken, missing body parts, or missing entirely, reduced to an absence on a foundation.
With a change in political climate and structure comes the vanquisher’s desire to obliterate the images of the vanquished, the reminders of a past desired no more. What is the source of this desire to obliterate images from the past? What is the relationship between the desire to erect these monuments initially and the desire to obliterate them? How is this shadow aspect of desire played out against images of the body?

Questions of desire, power, and their reversal as elements form the intellectual pivot of such an investigation; a plaster model found in the cellar of the Moscow Institute of Modern Art formed the physical basis of the Moscow installation. The model, of a very defined, very muscular man, is brightly lit, wrapped in the lush color of Christmas lights. Positioned in and facing into a darkened apse at the end of the gallery, the statue stands erect with one arm held up and the hand lifted, almost as if pointing away into the distance. Lighted darkroom lamps rest on the floor around the model; their gold painted power cables extend from the modelïs outstretched hand. The lamps illuminate 4îx5î transparencies which show images of a nude man caught up in the struggle to remove himself from myriad architectural structures which either cover or entrap him.

At the other end of the room and directly opposite the apse a golden telescope hangs from the ceiling. A peek through the telescope reveals the luminous buttocks of the model. On the wall behind the telescope is a facsimile transmission image of a French erotic vignette, mounted in a gold frame. The image of a winged phallus positioned on a pedestal dominates the vignette; the pedestal’s shape is similar to the many figurless pedestals visible throughout Moscow. Female figures recline languidly around the pedestal and, looking in the direction of the phallus, are immersed in self-play.

 

  • Pleasure of Ruins
  • Pleasure of Ruins
  • Pleasure of Ruins
  • Pleasure of Ruins

PLEASURE OF RUINS (1991)

– a golden stair giving access to a golden stage bearing a brass telescope
– the scope gives access to a small transparency across the room of an 18th century erotic French vignette showing a man with a magnifying glass closely examining a woman’s vagina
– a small table and golden chair, framed by deep red bordello drapery, holds slide viewers displaying 19th century busts of German ‘masters’

The brass telescope with its wooden tripod recalls the cherished notion of the scientist as the last great explorer, reaching for the stars with his gaze in his quest for truth and beauty; or perhaps the captain of a sailing ship, his sea eye reaching for a distant, unknown horizon. Both of these images are phallic in their own right, and both carry forward the mythology of the male.
What speaks through the images of the “masters”  is power and mastery that has transcended history. But in this case, each statue has a broken nose, subverting the grandeur of such notions and dooming the whole project to the recognition of every man’s mortality and vulnerability, even the famous ones. The slide viewers are constantly lit, enabling these loose, displaced heads to become the ‘viewers’ themselves, as well as the objects being viewed. The viewers are readymades, and work on a metaphoric level as the readymade accessibility to the manipulation and arrangement of the elements of ‘truth’ and ‘power’ we culturally construct.