For my final project for this course I have create a sub series of the (eye)con images entitled (eye)con: watch it. This series of six images is intended to cause discomfort within the viewer. Very much informed by the research I did for the video project regarding voyeurism in national socialist cinema (you can read that post here) These images harken back to Jacques Lacan’s Mirror Stage theory.
By distorting the way that the lens captures the face I wanted to subvert the emotions of looking. We cannot find pleasure and power in looking at this because the images themself control the power, there are no opportunities for the viewer to project power from looking. It is impossible to look away but your awareness of looking makes you want to hold the power by looking away. This paradoxical conundrum confuses us, the viewer does not know if what they are feeling is pleasurable or discomfort.
By placing various universal hand signals in the place of the iris and pupil these images are speaking without a mouth. This brings it all back to where the (eye)con series began: the projection from the voyeuristic gaze on oneself. Nothing in these images is saying something, yet we believe we can derive meaning from the symbols we think we know.