just following

maeshelle west-davies just following facebook event cover

On just following by maeshelle west-davies
Text by Elizabeth Gerdeman

[deutsch]

Dieser Blick ist nicht für die Massen. Nicht für ihre Perspektive aus seltsamen Ansammlungen mit scheinbar zufälligen Bewegungen. Nicht für ihre Körper, die vor Erwartung zucken, ihre huschenden Augen und ihre klaffenden Münder, ihre mit ausgerichteter Kamera hoch gestreckten Telefone.

Dieser Blick ist für das Individuum, die Einzelgänger, die Isolierten, wenn die Vorstellung einer Menschenmenge jetzt ein Gefühl von Panik, Angst und Hilflosigkeit hervorruft, als Reaktion auf Situationen, die scheinbar außerhalb unserer Kontrolle liegen.

Bei diesem Blick geht es um die Auswahl. Was wollen wir verfolgen und im Auge behalten? Anstatt uns auf die Hauptattraktion zu konzentrieren, führt uns die Künstlerin durch die Dynamik eines komplexen Systems, in dem sich aus der Interaktion vieler einzelner Akteure heraus Verhaltensmuster beobachten lassen. Sie legt die Wahrnehmungskraft auf die einzelnen Personen und fordert sie auf, alle jene im Blick zu behalten, die sich immer noch nach dem Sehen sehnen.

[English]

This gaze is not for the masses. Not for their perspective from strange clusters with seemingly random movements. Not for their bodies twitching in anticipation, their eyes darting and mouths gaping, their phone clasped with readied camera held high in hand.

This gaze is for the individual. The solitary. The isolated. When the very notion of a crowd now conjures a sense of panic, fear and helplessness in response to situations seemingly beyond our control.

This gaze is about choice. What do we choose to keep in our sights, to follow? Rather than focusing on the main attraction or featured event, the artist guides us through the dynamics of a complex system in which emergent behaviour is observed out of the interaction of many individual agents. Placing the power of perception instead onto the
individual – urging them to keep all those in view who still yearn to see.

Installation view Galerie KUB #co2020, photo Stefan Hopf
Installation view Galerie KUB #co2020, photo Stefan Hopf

What happens when you can no longer physically engage with the masses? With the nearest human two meters away, does your empathy function? How about your intuition? Can you still tell the difference between fact and fiction? Algorithms and manipulated facts find their way into your realm. Are you sure who to trust or are you just following?

In a special COVID 19 installation version, five televisions are socially distanced. They stand in a line in the middle of the room facing the windows. On screen, people are packed on top of each other. This cross section of society is all facing the same way, waiting for what is to come. Their anticipation is growing.For this installation, no one is allowed in the space. They can only peer in through the windows, one at a time. There is no vernissage. There are no opening times. No one is there to turn it on or off. A timer insures it plays from 10AM to 11PM daily. There are no hands to wash.

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