A _day __ at the Gallery -
Simulation and Its Discontents (2002)
The interactive installation “A _day __ at the Gallery” reconstructs the mise-en-scŹne of a 19th-century Chinese-Macauan photography studio. Viewers are invited to hold a pose for the duration required to “capture” their portrait (six minutes are needed for a fully etched image). The image accrues continuously, and begins to blur or fade when the sitter moves, leaves the set, or is replaced by another viewer.
The name of the piece is displayed under the framed projection and changes with the day of the week and with the time of day, e.g.: “A Sunday Afternoon at the Gallery” or “A Tuesday Evening at the Gallery”. Periodically, the name alters to a variant of the same syntactic structure, e.g.: “A Day Tracing Your Steps at the Gallery” or “A Melancholic Day Finding No Solace at the Gallery” or “An Anxious Day With My Cell Phone at the Gallery” etc.
This piece conflates the studio photo-portrait with the classical vanity portrait as well as, through the titles, contemporary, iconic, mass-media representations of the “self”. The installation is intended to question the validity (and the mere possibility) of engagement in a piece that does not offer immediate rewards.
A __day __ at the Gallery was installed at Digital Delight, Macau International Arts Festival 2002, Macau Museum of Art.
Curated by Fung May-Wha.
Supplementary Titles: Orit Kruglanski
Research Assistant and camera loan: Alison Bradley
Tripod loan: Shelton Walsmith
Production Assistants: Fung May-Ling and Ng Tsz-Kwan