Tabakalera, Donostia / San Sebastián, Spain | Website
Evil Eye. The parallel history of optics and ballistic
The present exhibition aims to map the structuring force of the white gaze in its concrete and abstract dimensions.
From the ‘visual ray’ metaphor to Pierre Jules César Janssen’s ‘revolver photographique’, the history of optics and the history of ballistics developed in parallel to one another, ultimately conflating in the figure of the drone: a camera that can kill. But under the aegis of, and working in tandem with, this technoscientific trajectory one finds a whole racialised and gendered regime of visibility, suggesting an ideological process at work ‘making what is contingent and local, perhaps even idiosyncratic, in matters of taste appear to be natural, and thus beyond dispute’¹. The present exhibition aims to map the structuring force of this white gaze in its concrete and abstract dimensions, thematising – among other threads – the entanglements of aerial perspective with total war and the creation of death-worlds; questions of transparency and opacity; and what cultural theorist Jonathan Crary termed ‘the inversion of the gaze’, when the screen doubles as a surveillance device that watches the viewer watching it.
¹ Meg Armstrong, “The Effects of Blackness”: Gender, Race, and the Sublime in the Aesthetic Theories of Burke and Kant, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 54. bol., 3. zk. (1996): 213–236. or.
Curators: Ana Teixeira Pinto and Oier Etxeberria Bereziartua
Exhibition Booklet 611 KB