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2019, 21 min.

See Me still

 

In 1924 at Hawthorne works in Illinois, a series of experiments took place, initially concerning how the change of lighting affects productivity. The studies have shown that the workers were not much affected by the change of light as they were when being supervised and shown interest from the manager. Once aware of being observed they modified attitudes and became more productive. The studies are known for being the first inquiry into employees' attitudes. Nowadays, emotional labor and continuous performance is an integral part of work. Joseph Pine and James H. Gilmore coined the term experience economy, meaning workers/ performers take on a different view of their occupations, seeing it from a perspective of an act. Work became a theatre. However, how does this everyday display of a particular role contributes to the alienation of the self? Can a subject draw the border between the “real self” and a role? What kind of a relationship does a subject form with its audience or rather at what cost does it capture its attention? 

These are some of the entry points of the work See Me. An actor is being commissioned to form a role that would display emotions and affects that usually try to remain hidden or suppressed in our everyday performative tasks. In order for those emotions to become vivid, a specific situation was being created by the artist. Performers had to be in front of the camera for several hours without carrying out any specific task or plot. In this particular setting, the camera is not instructive, it doesn’t portray or represents any interest besides its own presence. What kind of attitudes does this mere presence produce? 

Video is an edited version of the performance.

 

Performed by: Iñigo Azpitarte

Thanks to: M.A. Laborategia

Special thanks: Ane Agirre Loinaz, Ane Rodríguez Armendariz, Iker Fidalgo Alday

Produced by: Tabakalera - International Centre for Contemporary Culture (Donostia), San Sebastián

 


 inigo

Installation view, Museum of Contemporary Art (MSUM) Metelkova, Ljubljana, 2019