Apropos of Seeing

Immersive video installation. Edition: 3
Film mixed with real-time camera. Wall and screen constructions.
Duration of loop 2min 12sec, silent, 2008


Collection of Helsinki City Art Museum

Apropos of Seeing is an immersive, computer-aided video installation. The projection of the installation mixes real-time video image from spectator’s place (gallery/exhibition space) with film material shot elsewhere (Palazzo Corsini, Rome). Thus the spectator is integrated visually as part of the cinematic narrative – as if he would be himself concretely inside the movie, participating as one actor in the movie.

One conscious aim of the work is to break the reality of traditional cinematic black cube, in which reality is mediated and an absent reference, and where the role of spectator is limited to an outside and passive observer. Among other things, the work brings in questions about what the spectator is looking at: the film, himself, his own gaze...? What is the location of the spectator: the space of the performed work (gallery/exhibition space), Palazzo Corsini, virtual space of the film...? This installation brings and forces the spectator to be part of the work, and makes visible the spectator’s here-and-now reality in relation to the another-place, another-time that artworks and images traditionally present.

Apropos of Seeing – structure of the installation

To see the work, the spectator enters into a bounded area inside the installation. A real-time camera is aimed precisely at that part of the installation space. The resulting image is embedded in the film - inside the mirror frames in the room of the film. Therefore, the spectator sees him/herself “reflected” in the mirrors, as if he/she was sharing the same space with the narrator. The camera has been placed specifically so that, while focusing his/her gaze on him/herself in the film projection, it appears to the spectator that his/her stare is aiming at the narrator.