Friday, 20 June 2014

Private View, curated by Li Li Ren

Private View

1st July - 18th July 2014
Private View: 30th June 2014, 6-9pm
Curated by Li Li Ren
Artists including: Stephen Hall, Nu Li, Lou-Atessa Marcellin, Li Li Ren, Sam Tierney, Julia Varela

At: Samia Gallery, 19 Henriques Street E1 1NB 

In our time everybody feels himself under surveillance. We know that we are exhibited, exposed to the gaze of the others. Our private sphere is permanently invaded, controlled by the state and private institutions. And the visual regime under which we live is an asymmetrical one: we do not see the others watching us because the means of visual control are mostly hidden from our eyes. Thus, this regime is different from the panoptical regime as it was described by Foucault, e.g. as the regime under which we could see the subject of power that saw us. The question is: how to react to this asymmetrical visual regime? One way is to defend one’s private space. But this strategy is obviously ineffective. The second way is to manipulate one’s own image in a conscious way – to create this image by showing more than the other wants to see, and to invent what one shows.
  --------- Boris Groys

The group exhibition Private View  explores whether privacy as we used to understand it has ceased to exist in today's world of total surveillance. 
Groys' analysis proposes an interesting alternative to the protection of privacy namely a contrived self-revelation. Confessional culture from reality tv to social media sees users competing for the traumatic exposure of the disgusting private revelation - confirming our worst suspicions. If our own private lives are not interesting enough we had better spice them up to be worthy of consumption, resulting in a proliferation of self exaggeration,  self dramatisation and acting out.
Private view stands at the shifting boundary between private and public, toying with the real or the manufactured/ manipulated. It questions the authenticity of our so called private lives, presents us with often incompatible or self contradictory privacies simultaneously.

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