Dan Flavin was never here

2004, DVD, color, sonido, 11’ 6’’.

Permorfer: Xoán Anleo, Rober Bass. Assistant direction: María Esteirán. Camera: Rafa Sabugueiro Sánchez. Edition: María Esteirán, Rafa Sabugueiro Sánchez. Localitation: Santiago de Compostela. Premiere: Xoán Anleo. Sin preguntas con respuesta, galería Moriarty, Madrid, 2005.

Catálogo de HAMACA. media & video art distribution from Spain, Barcelona.

A succession of encounters, exchanged glances and meaningful looks unfold within the context of contemporary art, the artist, the works of art and the architecture of gallery space.

During a visit to a mixed-media group exhibition, the backdrop to the action is of photographs, videos, sculpture and installations displayed in a contemporary art centre. Action is filmed via the gallery’s security cameras, raising issues of identity, gender and roles, understood as social and political constructs.

These are approached through the representation of relations between between selfhood and the other. The other is at once everywhere and nowhere; the experience of the other occurs within us and forms a part of ourselves – a confrontation between desire and the outside world. 

The piece sets out to break through the boundaries between the individual and his/her identity, a contemplation of the self in close union with the other. With its own vocabulary, the video aims at a representation of the self and its reflection – as if in a mirror – as a vision of personal identity. An expanded identity proceeding from an unconscious process by which mental representations are created and translated into a narrated biography of the self.

In this way, the piece shows and constructs identities, at the same time as registering the subject’s felt responses to the works of art on display, and by implication his relation to the outer world. Through its surveillance and security systems, the art museum becomes a connected global space and by extension plays a part in the tensions between the individual and his environment.