'Showcase' is a photo work consisting of a single 4 by 5 inch slide projected continuously on a large rear-projection screen using a Pani large-format slide projector. A projector usually used in theatre productions to project images or drawings as backdrops.
Leading up to making this work I visited Rotterdam zoo daily over the course of two months, deliberately without a camera. I focused my attention of the differing ‘modes of vision’ staged by the enclosures and the differing behaviours of the viewer this engendered. Of particular note was the leopard den of which “Showcased” is an image. The leopard den created a particularly cinematographic form of vision where you looked through a large ‘wide screed’ glass window into the diorama like enclosure. This setting created, by isolating vision from the other bodily senses, and by allowing the position of an overview, a sense of empowerment in the viewer. You possess the ‘Olympian eye’, however this is an illusion, a construction. Moreover this was one of the most manipulated enclosures and the guests could sense this and would beat on the glass, tearing at the screen of reality. Smeared with fingerprints, the illusion was at the edge of cracking. On the final day of my visits to the zoo I returned with my camera and attempted to take a single image that did not represent the observations I had made but rather mirrored how I felt the enclosure functioned.
With this work I was curious about how our senses are often subject to complex forms of visual manipulations, which in turn are instrumental in determining hierarchical power relations. I was also interested in the possibilities of using a single image to evoke a complex narrative in an experiential rather than a representational manner.
This is how it must feel to be there was curated by Tracey Warr and was a Piet Zwart Institute show.
Download Flyer This is how it must feel to be there in PDF.