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Big Brother

Performance, 2011

English | français

Self-Portraits / Internet / Media / Performances / Politics / Reflections / Trompe-l’œil / Video

March 5th 2011, as part of the exhibition Plutôt que rien : démontages at the Maison Populaire de Montreuil.
One art piece per day, openings every day, for which the artist is present.
Invited curator Raphaële Jeune, in collaboration with the philosopher Frédéric Neyrat.

The observer’s observed. The tables are turned. At this time of reality TV, video surveillance, internet, GPS, cellphones and social networks, everyone’s become his own Big Brother. Big Brother’s caught in his own trap.

I spent more than four hours in the space at the Maison Populaire of Montreuil, walking around and interacting, as far as possible, with the visitors, my eye staring into the camcorder fixed on my shoulder.
The camera is held "the wrong way round", I look into the lens, not the viewfinder. The huge oversized image of my eye is projected in real time onto the wall, and seems to look at the spectator, to observe, to survey the space. It is also visible on the LCD screen of the camera, which is directed towards my face (like a rear-view mirror that would reflect my glance). The action in the space is caught by a webcam that was installed at the beginning of the exhibition at the rear end, facing the projection, and is transmitted on the web site of the art centre. For four hours I stare into the black hole of the lens which seems more and more abysmal to me, and in which I perceive from time to time, far away, and depending on the light, my own glance. The perception of my surroundings is reduced to peripherical blurred vision. In fact, I see next to nothing while the omnipresent and merciless eye seems to see everything. In it the whole space reflects, as in a convexe mirror.
I bring the afternoon’s work to an end, with irritated eyes full of tears, in a "duel" with the webcam, facing it, in the axe of the projection. Then I close my eyes.

Photos : Jason Karaïndros and Cécile Roche-Boutin
Shoulder rig : Loca-Images Paris

A video sequence of the performance is shown in 2019 at the exhibition Complex Questions, Fascinating Responses, at the new art space Evliyagil Dolapdere, Istanbul, Turkey, curator Beral Madra.

- Maison populaire - Plutôt que rien : démontages
- Thomas Bernhard, Walking (excerpt)
- Complex Questions, Fascinating Responses on ART TV

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