Thursday, 22 November 2012

Liverpool Biennial 2012, Tate/Open Eye

Outside the Tate there's a strange pavilion, if you go around dusk you'll see the sides of this pavilion shining with the bright faces of the great and good of the creative industries. This is Doug Aitken's The Source a project to locate the source of creativity, though it's an admiral attempt but after a few minutes I have no new insights into creativity.

Anyway inside to where the rest of the art is. I recall when I first visited the Tate during the opening weeks of the Biennial where my thoughts where that the exhibition was much smaller then pervious Biennials. Was this due the a overlap with the blockbusting Turner Monet Twombly exhibition, maybe. Maybe it's a reflection that this exhibition, Thresholds to give its proper name, will be here long after framework of the Biennial has been removed. Maybe that just my perception. Whatever it's a good exhibition with some great pieces including Kader Attia's meditation on the corrupting influence of oil in his video Oil and sugar. My highlight of the exhibition is A Travel without Visual Experience by Pak Sheung Cheun, where you are invited to explore a dark room by means of a camera flash. I enjoyed the simple action of using the camera flash in order to navigate myself around the room, while that action made regard the fallacy of using a camera in order to capture a moment.

In the cameras flash everything becomes clear, knowable, yet the result of that becomes clear as on the cameras view screen you see a corner of a frame or simply nothing. On leaving the space I asked what happened to the images taken with the Tate provided cameras only to be disappointed to discover that they were all erased. It occurred to me that this collect of photos would expand on the issues of the piece and touch on questions about the changing nature of the photograph in a world of Facebook and Tumblr.

Of course less than a stone's throw away from the Tate is the Open Eye. Wherein there are pieces which also explore the nature of looking, watching, how and why we watch. Konei Yoshigui's The Park is comprised of photographs of couples in tryst's being watched by small groups of voyeurs. Youshigui enhances a sense of voyeurism by permitting the images to be viewed only by torchlight. So you enter the darken space the photographs inhabit armed with your torch to be greeted by other visitors with torches. There's an odd sensations of guilt, complicity as we all stalk in the darkness looking at images of people looking at people, fucking. The piece subtlety raises the question of why are we driven to look at images especially sexual images.

There was a point while watching the second piece, Love Hotel where I was waiting, expecting to see the grainy images of naked bodies to being moving. That these questions came to the fore as I was unsure why I was expecting these images to move, because they are presented on video monitors? Some need for titillation perhaps? I'm still unsure but I had to consider what the Gallery Assistant much make of someone like me taking a little too much time in considering the work. Again caught in the infinite regression that is our need to see and be seen.

No comments:

Post a Comment