Thursday, October 18, 2012
1st Pieces for "Beyond the Screen"
I did it! I got the wonderful Jace Kerby to model for me, and composed my first human shadow captures in my darkroom. The piece on the left is titled "Is Someone There?" and the piece on the right is "I See You," and I feel as if the pieces compliment each other. The original images are the ones with the white silhouettes, of course, since I haven't mastered the process of turning the negatives into positives in the processing, so I'm going to get the digitally inverted images printed at the same size as the original. I know, the aesthetic will not be the same, but it's fascinating when looked at in terms of the simulacra and appropriation. Each step in the process delivers an alternate perspective and challenges the verisimilitude of the images which preceded it, and in this light I am left wondering which presentation is authentic in its representation. The dialogue between my thoughts and the image intensifies the intent of the subject, the emotive response, and the awareness of voyeurism.
What strikes me about these two together is the position in which the viewer is placed in the narrative. In Is Someone There? I feel as if I'm am the voyeur, intruding into the privacy of another who is yet unaware of my presence. There is an apprehension that I will be caught, yet the desire to remove the screen and observe the mysteries beyond entices me. The brush strokes and imperfections reinforce the illusion of a veil between me and the subject which becomes ethereal beneath the weight of my gaze.
In I See You, this position is reversed: now I feel as if I am the victim of the intrusion, threatened by the gaze of an unknown other beyond the veil. I am struck by a desire to rip down the screen so that this unknown may be recognized and I may objectify the foe, therefore reclaiming the gaze that has been forced back upon me. I find myself recoiling, almost ashamed, as if this perpetrator has caught me in some unseemly deed when I believed no one was looking, and I am reminded of the gaze of the Other and the need to hide myself behind the mask of a projected identity.