Every no I sayEvery yesTalks to me about me(...)I stand in front of the otherinverted mirror that does not lieAnd... Read More
Every no I say
Talks to me about me
(...)I stand in front of the otherinverted mirror that does not lieAnd I stand new, clean, never again innocent.Cristina Sertorio Benna The ME | WE project had a first exhibition in which it developed into a participatory installation through a series of mirrors on two front walls. At the top, on one side, the vertically specular blow-up writing ME | WE, on the other side symmetrical WE | ME. The mirrors, offset, meant that whoever approached to look at herself/himself makes eye contact with the person reflected in another mirror. The theme of the ME | WE is in fact precisely this, identity as the fruit of interaction: with the environment (we are the missing when we leave a room), with others (the other who looks at us and makes us our gaze, our response). In the mirror we are often in the solitude of a mute ego, of a surface that we verify (by checking wrinkles, shape, fat) but we don't know. In search of who I am (or how they see me). In search of identity; but this arises from the relationship and in the relationship.And it is in the relationship that identity emerges, even as a self-reflection. Who am I? When I meet myself? Our mirror is the face of the other. Any other mirror - as Narciso teaches - is fatal to us.Today I bring a second step to this exhibition through a video. On the video, 7 portrait close-ups of about 30 seconds each. Every person who enters immediately enters in relationship with those gazes. Eyes to eyes. What does the viewer see in that video? She/he sees eyes that “stare at her/him” but eyes that clearly have looked at others, that bring other stories and that make you stare back at them . The gaze of the other makes us emerge and gives us back. We know each other by feeling in relation to each other. Me We, We Me, in a game of references. The public will be able, if they wish, to press a button that activates a camera and that will record their gaze watching the video. Those who are watching thus become part of the work, of a new work that will be visible online at the end of the exhibition.The choice of video allows me to work on the theme of presence. The presence of who is being looked at, the presence of who is looking (which conditions who is being looked at). Let yourself be looked at: a gift. I therefore chose my two older uncles who are in their nineties and my daughter who is five, people who, by age, do not deny themselves, who seek nothing more than an encounter. In fact, today we are so conditioned by our image that, when we look at the other, we often ask ourselves how he sees us, we model ourselves to make ourselves seen in a certain way, instead of letting ourselves be looked at, letting ourselves be provoked by the other, the emergence of that unique which comes from the subjective encounter. What happens in the meeting? What happens to us?The work proposes an open participatory performance, without answers; however, it certainly works on the hypothesis of an experience in which mirror neurons, which are activated in the encounter, stimulate empathy, hypothesizing a boundary between aesthetics and ethics, between this aesthetic experience and consciousness. I have idea and I hope for its future: its subsequent developments point to a more mature declination between art and neuroscience articulated in a wunderkammer in which both paths are present, continuing its experimental nature in a more structured way.
NOTE. All participants in the five videos which are part of the exhibition have signed a release and the public will be notified of the possibility or not to participate in the video-recording and, in case, will be asked to sign a release before their recording can be shared on line.Technically requirements are: a 21 or 24 inch computer, a button that controls the webcam, a software for the management of file storage on an external cloud, wifi or 4g modem on board depending on availability. A copybook will be there: some written (the first in this hatching and the explanation of project) and white space for the impressions of the audience.