9th November –19th December 2010
ms1, 36 Więckowskiego Street
The departure point of the exhibition Peep Generating is voyeurism in its different manifestations. We are interested both in the multiple ways of peeping and the object of peeping. On the one hand the variety of, otherwise fascinating, ideas that serve satisfying the covetous gaze (from the irresistible curiosity to more sensual, erotic and even pornographic experiences), on the other hand, commonly used tools of control, guarding public order (CCTV cameras in the streets, offices, etc.).
We have decided to distinguish between three semantic fields on which we want to focus: 1. voyeurism as an erotic, covetous gaze, bringing physical pleasure; 2. voyeurism as a natural tendency of a man to peep, satisfying curiosity; 3. voyeurism as a tool of control. We think that these three semantic imports of the word, although they do not exhaust the issue, are crucial for presenting it. The title of the exhibition points to the process-character of the phenomenon, its constant development in the changing social background, and, what may even be more important, in the changing technological background. It is not without reason that the title is taken from computer language: the Internet is a kind of catalyst of the ubiquitous phenomenon of peeping. Mass production of images that used to be forbidden, considered to be a taboo makes peeping a common phenomenon.
Our deliberations on the subject were initiated by not only the medical definition of voyeurism as a pathological activity based in achieving sexual pleasure as a result of peeping on other people in intimate situations. Voyeurism has most importantly cultural meaning for us, appropriating different spheres of life such as: politics, technology, anthropology, media, not excluding human sexuality. The phenomenon is intriguing because of its morally ambiguous status. It is a borderline experience where the border between innocent pleasure and crime that is an affront to human dignity is very thin. The matter is further complicated when we touch upon the medially-intermediated reality. Voyeurism is here the answer to exhibitionist behaviours seen on the Internet or in reality shows and, as a commonly used practice, does not meet much of public objection. When used on similar scale, however, to monitor society, voyeurism becomes a tool of oppression.
We are then interested in the motivations of a voyeur, the situation of the person who is peeped on, mechanism of the process and social response. The latter seems very interesting in contemporary world. Not only due to the common accessibility of the tools that serve peeping but, most importantly, due to the lack of insight and defining of main character in the process, even in micro scale. Peeping Tom is at the same time being peeped on. And in the era of dispersed, decentralized authority resulting from system structure of society it is difficult to recognize your enemy.
Artists: Joanna Biela Garrido, Ondrej Brody/Kristofer Paetau, Marta Deskur, Yingmei Duan, Karolina Freino, Paweł Kowzan, Julia Kul/Magdalena Mellin/Sylwia Galon, Dominik Lejman, Roman Polański, Karol Radziszewski, Józef Robakowski, Kama Sokolnicka, Markus Zimmermann, Alicja Żebrowska
Curators: Alicja de Rosset, Anna Czaban, Ewa Surowiec, Iweta Baranowska, Magda Koziak, Maks Bochenek, Marta Miś, Paulina Zacharek.
Exhibition prepared by Curator Studies graduates of the Jagiellonian University.