After our show in January for a week I sat staring for hours on end at the large lilac changing room style room I had created. Was I happy with the outcome? Yes. Did the piece get engagement from the audience how I hoped? Yes. Everything turned out almost too perfect and everything I wanted to ask was answered. But then what? I felt empty and confused. I’m not a pristine person nor has my work ever been so why. I think the pressure of having our first big ‘proper’ show got to me and made me scared. The excitement of risk taking and freedom was missing and creating this piece felt like having to hang out wet laundry, zzzzzzz.
The piece was about feeling like a voyeur – an involuntary one – intruding on the intense and private relationship between a person and their camera. I was looking into that modicum of attention people seek from getting a like on social media because it gives them instant gratification. I created a self-enclosed space which allowed the audience to be an integral component, by either interacting or imagining themselves interacting with the piece.
Reflection, distortion and disorder create ambiguity, and paradoxically the sense of emotional reality that people need and seek. By using a mirror, I wanted to see if people posted photos of themselves using social network sites like Instagram so I could search via hash-tagging.
This is something that interests me but it’s not something that I’m really interested in or care enough to make work about. What I’m interested in and always have been is the engagement with online visual culture. I think that my generation is starting a huge paradigm shift towards the right direction, and we are beginning to show the older generations that it is okay to feel the way we feel.
Fern O’ Carolan