Looking at a Naked Man (installation detail), 2020, photo credit Eddie Ing
I create sculpture and installations that respond to contemporary art criticism and social theory about the gaze. Broadly speaking, addressing the gaze allows me to reflect on my relationships to others and consider what those dynamics can reveal about how we understand ourselves and others.
My site-sensitive, immersive installations engage viewers as both voyeur and subject; 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 (2020), approaches the idea of the gaze from the perspective of the female gaze. Looking at a Naked Man includes video work made during multiple sessions with one of my male models as I directed him to perform a range of mundane activities that convey vulnerability with strength and beauty with awkwardness, sometimes overlaid with references to classical art. These videos flip tropes common to the male gaze, while presenting a perspective that moves beyond a simple reversal of the objectifying male gaze, conveying a mixture of desire, curiosity, and empathy. The presentation of these videos is an integral element of the installation. With strategies such as placing the videos within small boxes that require people to lean-in to view, or integrating mirrors into a display composition, viewing these videos engaged the viewer’s own body and created a hyper-awareness of the act of looking.