The Gaze | Fru by Lee Blalock

Lee Blalock, Fru, 2012, still of HD video, dimensions variable

What do we look at – and why? In The Gaze, an exhibition of experimental, or narrative-based, interactive short films, eight artists present engaging and thought provoking interpretations of “looking.” View the videos on the digital screens in Mississauga Celebration Square throughout 2013! Screening schedule is on the AGM website.

Over the next few months, the AGM blog will feature guest posts by The Gaze artists, revealing the conceptual framework behind their videos.

Fru by Lee Blalock

Whether it’s moving through public space or having to negotiate the public to get to the most recent ‘rent-paying-gig’, The Gaze is a direct source of my anxiety. Sometimes, I don’t leave The Batcave for days! This might be a good place to mention that I’m a huge sci-fi fan. Recently, someone told me that I have the uncanny gift of mimicry (like Mystique from the X-Men). The fact is, people are watching, looking, and deciding about you in every second. I’m not hard to miss. But at some point you realize that it’s just easier to temporarily walk the walk that will make your observers comfortable, rather than to remind yourself of who you really are. This requires a costume change for every new audience. (Mystique must be angry all the time!) Public equals pretend. I have a personality suitable for every neighborhood/situation. Oh, I resent this much work, but I have faith. Somewhere in the near future, the best sci-fi stories offer real possibilities for daily life in a post-human, post-gender, post-anything-constructed-outside-of-ourselves world.

End rant.

This is one of the first video projects I’ve produced without using digital animation or extensive effects. I really wanted to construct my own little world tucked safely behind a (somewhat) transparent barrier. So I used plastic from around the studio to cover the lens. I also wanted to create a sense of movement and fluidity, so I shot the ink dancing in cold water and used it as the base of the video collage. I actually shot several kinds of textures to help create the virtual wall between myself and the lens. Fru is a way for me to directly confront that all seeing eye, to make my quiet discomfort known before finding rest behind a sea of colliding imagery.

Chicago, 2012


About The Gaze

The Art Gallery of Mississauga, in partnership with the City of Mississauga’s Culture Division, publicized a Call for Artists to submit proposals of experimental, or narrative-based, interactive short films. A total of 8 works were selected that helped define, broaden and contribute to the philosopher Jacques Lacan’s concept of distinguishing between the eye’s look and THE GAZE.

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