We subject ourselves to different forms of self-surveillance everyday. We, the subject, are fundamentally altered by the content, information and imagery that is stored within, so that we become increasingly exogenous, constructing and defining ourselves according to these media, removing ourselves from reality.
A monolith emerges. An omniscient octagonal structure. We are being watched. Cameras aimed at different parts of the gallery make us more self-conscious. A playground strewn with objects, the bare necessities; signs of a suspended presence.
Inside the structure we see behind-the-scenes. The screens are positioned close together. We make a momentary appearance on one of them and blend with the images of the space; action followed by abeyance. A ghostly character emerges from some images that, paradoxically, evokes absence and the dematerialization of the body.
Navigating in uncertain space and time, we gradually piece together a scenario. Who is really present here in this moment? What is imagined and what is real? What story emerges from this montage? Who controls whom?
The constant oscillation between fragmentation and cohesion, reinforced by the presence of a maquette of the installation, engenders a sense of mise en abyme. Caught in a world of clues where unstable interior-exterior spatial relationships are at play, subjectivity, as singular space and time, is put to the test. Reality blends with fiction, the self with its media double. The installation takes on a life of its own. It metamorphoses through perpetual change, sustaining an ongoing narrative.
A growing awareness of the media develops; our movements are controlled by the cameras, such is our apprehension of being captured by them.
Regaining control of our senses, the possibility of taking control of this system through the filmed image begins to emerge. In this way, we gradually make an incursion into this ongoing and self-observing project.
And so we witness the construction of the subject in a hyper-mediatized environment of near constant surveillance. Private space is slowly relinquished, yielding to the authority of the media as a vehicle for self-scrutiny. As human beings we internalize this constant observation, and watch ourselves ceaselessly. The reflection of the image presented validates us in the world, a sign of mastering the self.
Marlène Renaud-B. likes to think abouth the way social and cultural context modifies the individual’s constitution, and therefore, artistic practices. She investigates how the self is constantly performing its own production in a society that is moving at high speed, and how this transforms the experience of temporality. She is a cultural worker, an undisciplined artist and aspires to life on Mars.