A Sight to Behold
Black room. Projector. Beach chairs.
Video: HD 16:9 single channel, 30:43 color.
4 chapter video recording during the site-specific show of the homonymous installation.
(Note: The original copy is in HD)
Images in: www.almudenalobera.com (Un espectáculo para la vista)
A large red theater curtain was installed parallel to the shore. The curtain separates and frames two facing landscapes and two different lines of sight. At back and forth, the usual visitors and beachwalkers become, by their mere presence "actors" and "spectators" depending by chance on where they are located. Their roles are confused and exchanged simultaneously, it means that those who at first glance seem to be "observers" facing the sea, become "observed" for those who walk and viceversa, because the curtain is double and identical on both sides.
The curtain frames a portion of the landscape in which you can see the sea, the sand from the shore and the live "real" activity that is occurring. The curtain turn this reality into a spectacle for the public, who is placed in the "stalls".
What kind of "stalls"? On the beach, all people follow a similar ritual of accommodation. Usually the chair or chaise overlooking the sea... In the same way the stalls are mounted, which is nothing more than a formalization (organized in a regular net) of the dispersion of "spectators facing the sea" extending along the beach.
What are the viewers? Through the curtain, they see a landscape with people walking along the shore and in both directions. This parade is common on any beach and these body-paraders stand in the way of those who are sitting watching the sea, sometimes being analyzed, compared... or just being involuntarily watched. When they find the curtain during their walk, they see a crowd. Those who are always there watching, are now a surprise to the visitor because of their layout like public in a theater. The stroller is more conscious of being watched and that audience is almost as spectacular as it could be the vision of the landscape of the sea, so that the public is a set of actors (also framed by a curtain) for the walker. The gazes meet, the gaze is not in one point or in one direction but in a space.
The installation narrows and becomes part "event" an everyday reality in the summer on the coast, proposing a reflection on our act of being, on our ways of looking, on the interconnectedness of our bodies in space and their summer exhibition, not only under the sun but also under the view of "others."
In the video-installation a new third group of spectators is invited to occupy the stalls. The same chairs that was on the beach. The group of chairs of the video-installation continues the virtual one which on the screen appears. The document of a past experience can be enjoyed and completed by the new public, who activates the work again.