“The Panopticon is a machine for dissociating the see/being seen dyad: in the peripheric ring, one is totally seen, without ever seeing; in the central tower, one sees everything without ever being seen." Michel Foucault
Originally an18th century concept proposed by philosopher and theorist Jeremy Bentham, a Panopticon allows one conducting surveillance over all inmates of an institution to create a sense of instability and uncertainty in those being discreetly observed. Initially, this was utilized as a mechanism of control but in recent times the paradigm has shifted, since control mechanisms have also become a tool for evoking a sense of safety and security.
'Mirror Stage’, a series of performances on London buses, references Jaques Lacan‘s theory of the „Gaze“, in a work that exaggerates the psychological effect of the loss of autonomy, through the realization that to be objectively visible causes one to act differently. The work also draws influence from Marina Abramovic’s “Art Must Be Beautiful Artist Must Be Beautiful” but translated to our time by being rather a quick “getting ready” and staying on the surface.
Billy-Paul Rousseau's soundscape 'Hospital' creates an uncomfortable atmosphere, placing the audience into a bygone world of Victorian cruelty. Stale sounds reminiscent of electrical and mechanical experiments linger long in the void of an empty room, leaving only a residual trace in the imagination.