2006 | who’s (looking at) who?, MOP PROJECT, Sydney
Installation. Digital prints, timber construction with TV monitor, external speakers
Video loop: HD, 4:3, colour, stereo, 2:20 min
A series of photobooth inspired photo strips using a mix of iconic public faces interspersed with recent friends portraits as grid round a ‘photo booth space’. Images tend to look inwards (to the right and to the left), evoking the presence of the watched other perhaps doing the watching in a paranoid world. The Television screen points to surveillance monitoring within the public domain – while the booth is perhaps a site for voyeurism to proliferate. Its, as the title suggests, a case of who’s (looking at) who? in a world of “otherness”.
A review from The Art Life states:
At MOP Projects until April 2 Gianni Wise has his work Who’s (looking at) who? sitting next to … Adam Cullen and Cash Brown. Wise’s work is an elaborate installation that riffs on the form of the photo booth. You enter the gallery space through a heavy curtain and facing you is a big black TARDIS-like box with a tiny screen recessed into the surface. The screenplays video footage of people on the street. The footage is crapped out a greenish video and there are ominous sounds coming from a speaker behind the scenes. Around the walls are … photo booth prints, except they are taken from TV – Margaret Thatcher, David Lynch and a bald guy who might be Martin Heidegger or Pik Botha. There is a quote from John McDonald on the gallery handout – “Politics is an embarrassment in much contemporary art – an exercise in selling prepackaged opinions to the converted”. Aside from the pot-calling-kettle-black absurdity of that statement, the key here is the ‘prepackaged’ concept. … The form may derive from a photo-booth, but the audience has no control here, we can only to act as receptors. Is that the point? (note: I believe the reviewer has missed the point, possibly because of his obsession with non-political art — which is in itself a political act.)