In the drawing series “How to Look at Modern Art in America” in the P. M. magazine (New York, 1946) Ad Reinhardt showed the uneasiness of the position of the spectator when the artwork “speaks” directly to him/her and questions his/her position and perception. One of the drawings shows a laughing visitor in front of an abstract painting, pointing his finger to the painting and asking “What does this represent?”. The painting answers furiously pointing the finger (back) to the spectator: “What do you represent?” The unexpected counter-question coming from the painting itself faces the spectator with the fact that his own experience and private “ideologies” shape what he/she sees and influence his/her perception.
In all the videos of the programme “Uneasiness (Spectacle)”, the spectator is faced with his/her own expectations and perception in the threefold relationship between the art work (the spectacle or what is observed), the observer or the protagonist (within the video) and ourselves as external observers/audience. The uneasiness of the questions is revealed: What do we see? What does this “represent”? And further: What can art? What do we expect from it?
This programme encompasses six videos. Inez de Coo tackles in “Prologue (2010) the machinery behind the narrative production and we are faced with our own expectations towards yet-to-be-seen narratives. Malthe Stigaard’s “Talk Show” (2010) turns the visitor of an art event into the actor in a self-reflective video. In “Cold Milk” (Hannah Haaslahti, 2010) we are sharing the trauma of the spectator’s position. In “Fiction is over” (Marta Azparren, 2010) the artist/actor confronts us directly with the questions derived from all the stereotype statements made about artworks. In Vladimir Nikolic’s “Installation” (2009) the discussion takes place in the space between the artist as a performer, the artist as a viewer/commentator and us as audience.