Grace Lee

Looper (2016)

Bob Bicknell-Knight

Autonomy 2.0 (2016)

Owen Thackeray

I'm Not Phased by this Dickhead (2016)

Watching, Looking, Looping

Exhibition #26 was named ‘Watching, Looking, Looping’, relating to how each of the video pieces being featured utilised the mechanism, or the idea of, looping, with the films endlessly repeating until the viewer decides to close the tab of their chosen web browser. Grace Lee’s animated video work ‘Looper’ depicts a figure, not dissimilar to the artist, walking down a path, only to fall over and be ‘re-born’ due to the experience, pushing themselves out of their old cocoon like skin and continuing to walk down the same path once again. The idea of re-making or re-moulding oneself after a tragic event affects you is not an old idea, but one that feels incredibly poignant after watching Lee’s subtle video. Accompanying ‘Looper’ is Bob Bicknell-Knight’s ‘Autonomy 2.0’, a work that depicts a family of Sims going about various activities within their home, from brushing their teeth to making breakfast. The positioning of the viewpoints, simulating active CCTV cameras, makes the viewer feel almost voyeuristic, even though they’re ‘only’ virtual people, and not ‘real’. As you’re watching ‘Autonomy 2.0’, Owen Thakeray’s ‘I'm Not Phased by this Dickhead’ is silently watching you, asserting whether or not your worth it’s trouble or not. The ‘it’ I refer to is some sort of extra-terrestrial, with a bone like head and a dead, almost tired look in the space where you’d imagine it’s eyes to be. At this point during my experience of ‘Watching, Looking, Looping’, I feel slightly violated, and can now empathise with the Sims, always being watched and never watching. I almost feel bad for experiencing the simplistic beauty of Lee’s work, knowing full well that the ‘dickhead’ was watching me the whole time, or am I the dickhead in this narrative? I don’t really know anymore…

Curated by Bob Bicknell-Knight