- Art History
- New Media, Art & Technology
- Gaze and Representation
I'll be your Mirror: Performativity and the gaze in contemporary photomedia art
Contemporary photomedia art presents new and increasingly complex behaviours of exchange in relation to a form of regulation and performed identity formation. This is particularly prevalent in the work of artists using photographic and video self-portraiture to participate in acts of mediated voyeurism, using the body (and the position of the viewer) as a site of production.
This research project examines artists whose artwork utilises facets of the gaze, using lens-based devices for the purpose of an assertion of agency regarding gender, sexuality (desire) and cultural identity.
It is essential research in a field that is forever expanding due to both rapid innovation and an increasing online digitalisation of visual culture. The aim of the project, more broadly, is to examine paradigm shifts in relation to the gaze - within a period of the proliferation of smartphones with cameras and online platforms. This research is timely visual analysis in regards to discourse surrounding private and public, particularly in relation to intimacy, identity and human connection.
More than simply a study of watching people watching, rather, this research operates to hold a mirror to the watcher - challenging their supposedly uninhibited gaze through case studies of various contemporary artists - discussing the mediated protection of the screen on popular media platforms, and the ethical, behavioural, socio-scientific and philosophical questions that arise therein.
David Ashley Kerr is an Australian born visual artist, academic and curator. Kerr is interested in staging relationships between victim and aggressor, body and landscape, voyeur and performer. Using melancholy as a metaphorical device, and the darker elements of the human condition are what drives his art and curatorial practice as a whole. In 2013 Kerr co-founded curator-led gallery Strange Neighbour, and has taught photomedia at several universities in Australia. In 2016 he completed a PhD at Monash University on an Australian Postgraduate Award scholarship, and has since then participated in Artist Residencies in Germany and Norway. Kerr has exhibited Australia-wide and in Malaysia, England, Norway, Germany, Mexico and China.