Emma Hunt's new body of work ShowMe! explores the indexes between virtual and actual realities and seeks to question the relationship between the on-screen and the tangible. Critiquing anxiety over technology in the reproduction of the gaze, the work creates a dialogue that awakens and revitalises the uncritical perception of the audience, and invariably becomes a critique of its own form.
In her on-going series of Reflectograms, Hunt sources images from the Internet of men who photograph themselves in mirrors, using their iPhones. Using her own iPhone she creates a double screen portrait of both herself and the anonymous male protagonist, using the built-in flash light to both abstract and suggest her presence in surface of the screen(s). Uploaded, downloaded, shared, reformatted, and reedited, the images thus, present themselves to new perspectives, new publics and new debates. In this light they express all the contradictions of the contemporary crowd: its opportunism, narcissism, desire for autonomy and creation, its inability to focus or make up its mind, its constant readiness for transgression and simultaneous submission.
Hito Steyerl (2009) has written in defence of poor images: that they are popular images - images that can be made and seen by the many. Steyerl suggests that poor images present a snapshot of the affective condition of the crowd, its neurosis, paranoia, and fear, as well as its craving for intensity, fun, and distraction. In this sense Hunt presents images that are no longer about the real thing - the 'originary original'. The work is focused on exploring [the images own] real conditions of existence: swarm circulation, digital dispersion, fractured and flexible temporalities. It is about defiance and appropriation just as it is about conformism and exploitation. In short: it is about reality.
image: Untitled Reflectogram #001 (May 3, 2013-18.00pm) detail.
Exhibition runs from 7th June - 28th June 2013
Private view: Thursday 6th June 2013, 6:00pm - 9:00pm.
Gallery viewing by appointment.