Looking at a Naked Man (installation detail), 2020, photo credit Eddie Ing
I create site-sensitive, immersive installations that use the sculptural human figure and the alteration of architectural space to create environments that engage viewers as both voyeur and subject. Thinking of the built environment as a kind of stage—one that frames the act of looking and contours how we understand ourselves and others—I consider space cinematically, directing viewers through spaces in ways that foreshadow, build anticipation, and control viewing angles the way one might change a camera angle or crop an image. In my installations, it is common for mirrors, video feeds, or openings cut through walls to implicate viewers into the work in a visually explicit way, conflating the roles of actor and audience and disrupting the illusion of an omnipotent one-sided gaze.
My most recent installation, titled Looking at a Naked Man, includes my first foray into video work made during multiple sessions with one male model. Flipping the trope of “woman as image, man as bearer of the look” discussed by Laura Mulvey in her seminal article “Visual Pleasure in Narrative Cinema,” these videos convey unabashed pleasure in observation of the cis-male body from a female perspective as I directed the model to perform a range of mundane activities that convey vulnerability with strength and beauty with awkwardness. The presentation of these videos ultimately informed how I altered the space, creating an experience that engaged the viewer’s own body and created a hyper-awareness of the act of looking.